REVIEW: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Grand Opera House, York

Joanne Clifton played Thoroughly Modern Millie
Joanne Clifton played Thoroughly Modern Millie

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 winner Joanne Clifton’s casting in the lead role of Thoroughly Modern Millie was no doubt a shrewd marketing move, and this talented young lady was sensational as flapper Millie, and lit up the stage with her feisty performance.

Not only can she dance like a dream but has a beautiful singing voice, and showed that she is a talented actress too. In many ways, she is like the character she plays, hard work and determination has given her the success she’d craved.

The sumptuous 20s set, brilliant live band, directed by Rob Wicks, sparkling costumes and fabulous choreography and talented cast cannot be faulted, but this musical fell a flat for me. A rather tired storyline didn’t help, I know it was set in the 20s, but the script was weak, and had a dated feel, rather than a period one.

Lucas Rush played evil Mrs Meers in the style of a pantomime villain, and did a good job with a tcringeworthy role. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to feel very uncomfortable experiencing the scenes between her and her Chinese sidekicks.

I would have liked to have seen more of the fabulous dancing; the Speakeasy Charleston was terrific.

Apart from the title number, Thoroughly Modern Millie, I’m afraid the rest of the numbers were instantly forgettable, but Jenny Fitzpatrick, Muzzy Van Hossmere, socked it to us in her Only In New York number, and had a great stage presence.

A frothy, fun family show that needs a few tweaks, but was fine entertainment.

It is at the Grand Opera House, York, until Saturday March, daily at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday at 3.30pm.

Tickets: 0844 871 3024