Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World Review

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – until 4 June 2022.

Reviewed by Kirsty Thomson


In this fast-paced, empowering musical, we are reminded that everyone is fantastically great!

The show begins in an out-of-bounds section of a museum where a new exhibition for fantastically great women is being set up. We meet Jade (Kudzai Mangombe), who has been separated from her school group, as she ventures through one of the paintings, into the exhibition. When inside, she is met by three inspirational women, Sacagawea (Jade Kennedy), Amelia Earhart (Renée Lamb) and Gertrude Ederle (Clarice Julianda). This exhibition acts as a sort of alternate dimension where Jade can meet these women from the past. The scene changes with minimal props, I noted to be particularly clever.

Jade goes on to meet Emmeline Pankhurst (Elise Zavou). The musical number ‘Deeds not Words’ was especially powerful and the choreography by Dannielle ‘Rhimes’ Lecointe gave a modern twist to the suffragettes while maintaining the power and force of their political movement. I found Elise Zavou to be particularly engaging with her eye contact and facial expressions keeping all eyes captivated on her during her performance as Emmeline Pankhurst.

Jade meets many more inspirational women along her journey in the exhibition before her teacher retrieving her at the end of the show. Kudzai Mangombe did a sensational job in the role of Jade, with exceptional energy and facial expressions throughout the entire performance. This stage adaptation by Chris Bush, of the picture book by Kate Pankhurst, had something for everyone and was inspiring to women of all ages. To add to the sense of empowerment, all of the people involved, including the musicians, were women, which I felt made the show even more powerful.

The final song was a megamix which had the audience up on their feet, clapping and dancing. This show was a fun filled explosion of colour and music with an excellent message, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for some family fun.