Touring – reviewed at New Victoria Theatre
Thoroughly Modern Millie has had many reincarnations and is based on a 1967 movie musical that is itself based on a 1956 London stage musical that in turn became a 2002 Broadway show. This new tour mixes a bit of each in to create a very enjoyable and well constructed production.
Set in 1922, Thoroughly Modern Millie tells the story of small-town girl Millie Dillmount who makes her way to New York with the sole intention of finding a husband, not out of love but for money. However, events take a sinister turn when she checks into the Hotel Priscilla for single women which just happens to be owned by Mrs Meers, the leader of a white slavery ring. Things get interesting for sure!
Joanne Clifton as Millie, the Kansas girl desperate to make it in New York, is superb and effervescent. Although she is probably best known for her dancing on Strictly she can certainly act and has a good singing voice. She’s the perfect fit for the title character and she warmed to the audience immediately. A big mention must go to Graham McDuff as Mr Grayden, especially for his drunken scene which was hilarious and had the whole theatre laughing. Lucas Rush also deserves a mention as Mrs Meers, embodying the character well and showing off a great stage presence throughout.
The glamorous costumes, all out dancing and typically Broadway music are exactly what you’d expect from a show like this and combined with the art deco set, it’s easy for the audience to get drawn in and lost in the 1920s world. Each scene change is done effortlessly, especially the office scene which is simplistic but highly effective.
All in all, Thoroughly Modern Millie is a ‘feel good show’ of the highest decree. I would highly recommend going to see it for a few hours of escapism and entertainment. The whole cast are outstanding and really seem to be having a wonderful time on stage which comes across in making their performances lively and energetic. The standing ovation received at the end of the show was evident of how much the audience enjoyed it so it’s well worth a visit to Thoroughly Enjoyable Modern Millie!