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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Review: Hayley Tamaddon in Thoroughly Modern Millie

In Coronation Street, Hayley Tamaddon played Lloyd's girlfriend Andrea Beckett, destined to sit in the Rovers and frown.

But since leaving Weatherfield, Hayley has really come into her own in the world of musical theatre.  We saw her last on stage in November 2016 in the musical Chicago where she rocked as Roxie Hart - and you can read that review here.

Last night we went to Sunderland Empire to see Hayley on stage again, this time in the lead role of touring musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. And what a joy it was!  It's one of my favourite musicals and I've seen it on stage before, in that London, when Lesley Joseph starred as Mrs Meeks and Amanda Holden as Millie.

But last night we saw it again and this time at our local theatre. It was a cold and wet Tuesday night and - to be honest - the sort of night where all you want to do is curl up in front of the telly rather than put your slap on, your best jeans and head out into town.  But it was well worth it for I enjoyed every minute of the show and it made the cold, wet night outside seem a million miles away.

Hayley Tamaddon as Millie packs a punch in this show. She's the first one on stage, alone, where she belts out the opening song, solo. And you know from the minute she opens her mouth to sing that first note that she's left Andrea Beckett in Corrie a very long way behind.  Hayley is a powerful singer and actress, she really is something special. We saw that in Chicago last year and it was a joy to see her on stage again last night.

The evil Mrs Meeks provided a lot of the laughs in the show, and it was the first time I've seen the character played in drag. This added an air of pantomime about the musical, which was fun - and it worked for this fan, played to perfection by Lucas Rush.

Thoroughly Modern Millie's stage show is based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film and it takes you right back to the height of the Jazz Age in 1920s New York City, when ‘moderns’ including a flapper named Millie Dillmount, played by Hayley Tamaddon, were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce and rewriting the rules of love.

There are some excellent tap numbers and a ‘Fred and Ginger’ dance routine on a window ledge. There's singing, dancing, comedy and a strong storyline too. What more could you want?

Thoroughly Modern Millie runs at Sunderland Empire all of this week. Tickets available here. 

And the tour dates for the rest of the country are here.

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1 comment:

Humpty Dumpty said...

I bet Hayley is amazing in musical theatre, both those parts being big characters who own the stage. Andrea was too 'big' for the small screen. Unless a Corrie character is meant to be extreme in some way, like Fred with his repeat expressions, it just hits the viewer as being OTT. Jackie Dobbs was another character played just a fraction too big while the actress is probably brilliant on stage. Corrie directors don't have time to tone actors down (or,equally, bring them up). Not every actor can do everything.


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