Shown in Chichester two years ago was the phenomenal cult hit Six – a historical remix with strong feminist displays of confidence relating to the six wives of Henry VIII. Now currently playing is Fantastically Great Women who changed the World, based on the picture book by Kate Pankhurst of the same name and showcasing mini snapshots of some of the most diverse, inspirational and highly motivated female historical figures.
Cementing these former characters together is ten-year old Jade and her teddy Bearonce. She separates from her school class and wanders behind the scenes at a Gallery of Greatness. Struggling with her parents impending divorce, the inquisitive school girl is seeking an adventure – when she is suddenly surprised by the appearance of a dozen famous inventive women from the past. These include Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, Jane Austen, Marie Curie and Emmeline Pankhurst to name but a few and they all have sound advice for young Jade from deeds not words, stronger together, to starting small and dreaming big.
The story telling is moved along with clever lyrics, sharp choreography and an array of vibrantly coloured costumes ensuring the powerful, high octane energy levels are maintained throughout. A small accomplished cast each rotate through portraying three ground breaking people and belt out some powerful vocals but sadly a lot of this is drowned out by the amplification of the on-stage band. Young Nielle Springer, on her professional debut, excels in the role of Jade, on stage at all times she gives a competent and confident performance. This charismatic fledgling performer totally captured her challenging role.
This educational show succeeds in reminding us all that with determination and ambition we can play a vital role whoever we are, and may even be able to change the world! It was warmly received and appreciated by an enthusiastic audience, that culminated in a standing ovation, which after such a devastating couple of years for live theatre, was so uplifting being able to enjoy the treat of such an atmospheric experience once more.