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A Pretty Perfect Production that ticked all the right boxes


If you loved the film, you are going to love this. Pretty Woman the ultimate rom-com has come to Milton Keynes Theatre for a two-week run until Saturday 30th March.

 

This theatrical adaptation from the 1990s follows wealthy businessman Edward Lewis, who hires fiery prostitute Vivian Ward to spend the week with him at his hotel, and to be his escort for several business and social functions. As the week draws to a close, they realise a romantic connection has grown between them and their lives are changed forever.

 

The story is set in Hollywood, where bright neon lights illuminate a stylish set featuring stunning and sometimes sparkly backdrops, and moving props that are seamlessly and slickly brought in from all angles. The lighting creates a beautiful ambience and atmosphere.

 

It took a while for the show to grab me, but when it did, it was something wonderful. The scene on Rodeo Drive with its fabulous glitz, glamour, and Hollywood wealth, along with the costumes and bouncing musical melodies, just shone. Also, the 'On a Night Like Tonight' scene (with a nod to Strictly Come Dancing) where Mr Thompson and Giulo tangoed, was quite magical. And always the show was complemented by the sensational ensemble, whose abundance of energy, fantastic singing and sharp choreography evidenced that they were all stars in their own right.  There were a couple of cringy moments when Edward recited Shakespeare's sonnets and rode a charger, but what the heck, it didn’t matter a jot.

 

Vivienne (Amber Davies) gave a very strong performance.  She was truly beautiful, her delivery was timely, warm, and funny and she had a lovely commanding voice. Edward (Oliver Saville) wasn’t the sad and melancholy character of the film but was directed as more upbeat and again provided a strong and flawless performance.

 

Ore Oduba was simply fantastic as Mr Thompson and the additional cameos that were very cleverly scripted into the piece. The rapid change from one character to another and his accomplished dancing skills proved what an accomplished actor he is and a great asset to the acting world. 

 

Kit (Natalie Paris) has a great presence and charisma with a powerful and punchy voice and gets my vote for best supporting actress (if there was one).  As a team, Vivienne and Kit made a very great double act. Their relationship was lovely and believable.

 

The character of Belle Boy Giulo, played by Noah Harrison, was an absolute delight to watch. His animated performance, bodily movements, and facial expressions were comical in every way, adding a huge touch of sparkle to the show. By the end, I was so taken with his character that I wanted to whisk him away.

 

Finally, a shout out for Lila Falce-Bass who’s stunning and skilful operatic voice wowed the audience.

 

It's easy to forget about the musicians because they are so good at what they do and don’t really get seen, and here we observed a hugely accomplished set of musicians who gave a flawless performance.  One of my biggest gripes about musical shows is how overbearing the volume can be, but not here, so a big shout-out to John Shivers, sound designer, who got it just right. It makes such a difference to the overall enjoyment show

 

Costumes and hairstyles were spot on, and Vivienne's many swift changes were truly stunning, turning her into the uttermost beauty.  A certain Audrey Hepburn comes to mind.

 

One observation. I have watched many many musicals throughout my life and have observed that the song styles are changing. There is now a lean towards more of a pop song rather than a musicals song, there is a difference and I prefer the latter. This was a mixture of the two. No surprise really that Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance were the composers.

 

This story is a timeless tale of love and romance that is sure to lift your spirits and light up your heart. With dazzling theatrical performances that will allow you to experience these iconic characters in a whole new way. Don’t miss out, book your tickets now at MK Theatre Box Office.

 

Shahnaz Hussain (Shiny) – Arts Reviewer

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