Back in 2018, four prime ministers ago, a new musical based on the music of Take That was born. It was called “The Band” and the BBC did the show “Let it Shine” to discover the next big boy band for it. They were called Five to Five.
Fast forward to 2023, Take That celebrate the 30th anniversary of their first number one Pray, and “The Band” becomes Greatest Days – The Official Take That Musical!
There has been another musical based on Take That – Never Forget – which by the way, premiered at Wales Millennium Centre in 2007!
So, to Greatest Days.
It’s Manchester 1992 and its based around five 16-year-old girls for who ‘the band’ is everything. They then reunite 25 years later, and you see how life has taken each girl down a different road.
Written by Tim Firth – who also penned Calendar Girls The musical with a certain Gary Barlow, its story is nostalgic and funny. The strength of a “Jukebox Musical” can sometimes be measured in how well it would stand without the music – Greatest Days does this so well. The nostalgia you feel could easily equate to how your own life has panned out in the last thirty-one years. There’s a warmth to each character, and something familiar that feels real.
Production wise it’s brilliant.
The “band” – well put together, but as I’ve previously said, their performances don’t drive the story forward. They provide the backing track, but the main story is carried by the performances of the main ensemble – the young and current versions of each. Going back to what I said about the warmth in each character, each performance was flawless. Sometimes with touring musicals, it’s about the one person being in it, granted Kym Marsh’s Rachel is fab, but each person took you on their own journey of nostalgia. There wasn’t one stand out moment – the story and performers are the stand outs of Greatest Days.
Back in 2018 when I reviewed “The Band” I did something a little bit cheesy and included some Take That song titles in recommending this musical.
But you’d wait for life for that. Okay Babe, are you happy now I found heaven? I might just end up all night, and then never forget to do this review pray-sing The Band. You do what you like, I’d love to hold up a light and come back for good to see this again! Patience, then you’ll rule the world.
Did I love “Greatest Days”? Sure!