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Review Take That Musical Greatest Days

Review Take That Musical Greatest Days LtoR Hannah Brown, Mary Moore, Emilie Cunliffe, Kitty Harris & Mari McGinlay in GREATEST DAYS, credit Alastair Muir
19 May 2023

Take That’s Musical Greatest Day has landed in Manchester. Discover if it is a show you will Never Forget in our review.

A new show, Greatest Days was originally produced as The Band which hit stages across the UK in 2017 to huge audiences. 

The re-imagined show opened in Manchester this week and we asked our On The Go Reviewer Gemma to check it out and you can discover what she thought below. 

Review of Take That Musical Greatest Days at the Palace Theatre Manchester 

Review Take That The cast of GREATEST DAYS, credit Alastair Muir
Credit Alastair Muir

In the words of the show “I grew up with” Take That, they were my first concert, my first love and when they split up my first heartbreak. 

When they got back together in 2006, I yet again became an instant fan admittedly a good few years older.

When the original Take That Musical, The Band was first announced I was over the moon, but due to a series of unfortunate events and bad luck I never managed to see it.

I was therefore extremely excited on learning that the musical was being re-produced as Greatest Days.

Co-directed by Tim Firth and Stacey Haynes,  the storyline follows not “The Band” but five teenagers from the Northwest who are devoted to them. 

The first act is set the 90’s as the Debbie  the most optimistic of the gang wins tickets to see the boys live in concert at Manchester’s Apollo. In the excitement that follows they share their plans and dreams for the future, promising that they will always be friends.

You are sure to recognise some characters from your own youth, the cocky confident girl Heather, the athlete Claire and the studious worrier Zoe who is trying to balance doing the right thing with her desire to see her musical crushes in person. 

eview Take That Greatest Days review LtoR Emilie Cunliffe as Young Rachel & Mary Moore as Debbie in GREATEST DAYS, credit Alastair Muir
Credit Alastair Muir

That promise unfortunately was not meant to be fulfilled. The second act catches up with them 25 years later when yet again a competition wins to see them reunite in Athens where they try to relive their youth and discover each of their lives did not live up to their 

Kym Marsh plays Rachel, whilst her daughter Emile Cuncliffe plays ‘young Rachel’ and both excel in their roles. Seemlessly moving from the teen to the adult it is forgotten that is in fact two different actresses and not just one who has aged before our eyes. 

In fact, this can be said of all of the actresses playing the younger and older versions of the characters, each who plays an equal role in the show. 

Watch out for Mary Moore as Debbie who exudes a star quality and brings a lovely energy to the stage and Jamie-Rose Monk as adult Claire who has great comedic timing. 

Review Take That Great Days Regan Gascoigne, Kalifa Burton, Archie Durrant, Jamie Corner & Alexanda O'Reilly in GREATEST DAYS, credit Alastair Muir
Credit Alastair Muir

Although not the main focus, ” The Band” is certainly present. From the pop concert stage appearances to appearing as Greek statues, they act as the musical narrators of the show.

Taking you back to the early days of Take That as they sing and strut their stuff to songs such as Pray and Could It Be Magic through to newer hits with the likes of Flood and Garden. 

The stage design is simple, based around sets of grey stairs that are transformed from lockers and bedrooms to fountains and plains. I believe this is in contrast to the original show which had much more elaborate designs.

This however for me took nothing away from the experience and if anything made the storyline and songs more of a focus. 

Going into the show I had no idea what to expect and was nicely surprised to be taken on a nostalgic journey of glimpses of my youth. But be warned there is a tragic side to the show and tissues may be needed. 

I won’t lie it was hard not to get up and sing and dance throughout, but fans will be relieved to hear the finale offers this chance with a medley of some of Take That’s favourite hits. 

The Take That Musical Greatest Days is showing at Palace Theatre Manchester until Saturday 27th May. See here for ticket information. 

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