Savoy Court, London WC2R 0ET 0844 871 7687
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Expected to move here from the Piccadilly Theatre on 8th July 2021.
Property developer hires street hooker for the week. What happens next proves that in Hollywood, dreams can come true...
Based on the movie, this is the West End production of the New York show.
The cast includes: Aimie Atkinson as ‘Vivian Ward,’ Danny Mac as ‘Edward Lewis,’ Rachael Wooding as ‘Kit De Luca’, Bob Harms as ‘Happy Man/Mr Thompson’, Neil McDermott as ‘Philip Stuckey’ and Mark Holden as ‘James Morse’.
The ensemble includes Jemma Alexander, Andy Barke, Kimberly Blake, Katie Bradley, Oliver Brenin, Alex Charles, Olly Christopher, Ben Darcy, Daniel De Bourg, Hannah Ducharme, Nicholas Duncan, Paige Fenlon, Damon Gould, Alex Hammond, Antony Hewitt, Matt Jones, Serina Mathew, Katie Monks, Lily Wang, Joanna Woodward, and Charlotte Elisabeth Yorke.
(seen at the afternoon preview performance on 29th February 2020 at the Piccadilly Theatre. Some actors have now left the cast)
The movie has always been very special to the monkey, and it has long anticipated the stage version opening in London. It came, it saw, it was happy.
Aimie Atkinson is Pretty Woman Vivian Ward. For film aficionados, the pleasure is in “This Is My Life,” her big second act song in which for the first time we learn Vivian’s personal history in greater depth as she mentions her home state. Already in love with her, with this, Ms Atkinson carries her audience to even greater heights of intimacy and approval.
She works the same magic on Edward (her favourite name, coincidence or what?!) as Danny Mac falls for her as hard as any man can. Mac is younger and fresher than Richard Gere, his ego more restrained and mind more open. He matches his lady in vocal ability, “Freedom” deserving respect as his big number and the chemistry between them is real.
There are two other huge-hitting leads in the show. Bob Harms (Happy Man) is probably so-named for making the audience deliriously happy with a triple-talent to which he adds comedy and sheer lovability. Paired with goofball gofer bellhop Alex Charles (Giulio) both steal every scene they are featured in... the monkey hopes that Mr Charles knows to put the wig in the wash after each performance, though.
There’s decent support from Rachael Wooding (Kit de Luca) as Vivian’s friend with potential and Neil McDermott (Philip) as her sleazeball enemy – his is a difficult scene to play and he manages it without upsetting the overarching balance of emotion.
In a smaller role, Mark Holden brings dignity to James Morse, Antony Hewitt likewise to son James.
Of the show itself, the songs are mostly serviceable if not instantly memorable. “On A Night Like Tonight” / “Don’t Forget To Dance” being the strongest. Most of the famous moments survive intact (“Nice Tie” doesn’t – it’s a family show) but sadly “Big Mistake, Huge” is given a moment-wrecking musical backing that should have been cut during Broadway previews.
There isn’t “It Must Have Been Love,” which is another badly needed change (pay for the rights, people) as “Long Way Home” and “Together Forever” are no substitute for those who know the moments.
It really does sag a little in act two, the opening “dream” idea pulled too thin when we just want to get on with the story. The film creates a stage script almost strong enough to stand alone without music at all, so what we get needed to be better at times than it is. A word too about the mostly serviceable set. The clumsy “cardboard cut-out” light fittings work given that something better would destroy the aesthetic, but if the aesthetic had been a little grander in the first place...
Still, this life-long fan left the theatre in awe of the cast – did it mention that the entire ensemble have potential to make you enjoy their work very much indeed? A few quibbles and some editing suggestions aside, this is a delightful, intelligent and often witty, showcase for popular musical theatre.
Can appear here.
The monkey advises checking performance times on your tickets and that performances are happening as scheduled, before travelling.
Until 10th August 2021
Tuesday to Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday at 2.30pm
NO MONDAY PERFORMANCES.
From 11th August 2021
Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm
Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday at 2.30pm
NO MONDAY PERFORMANCES.
Runs 2 hours 30 minutes approximately.
Theatres use "dynamic pricing." Seat prices change according to demand for a particular performance. Prices below were compiled as booking originally opened. Current prices are advised at time of enquiry.