I often feel I was born in the wrong era, dreaming in a world full of flapper dresses, cocktail parties and dancing the Charleston. So when I heard that Thoroughly Modern Millie was to be revived in London, I couldn’t wait to go.
It’s taken 12 years for this musical classic to return to the stage in the city and it currently calls The Landor Theatre home. Right in the heart of one of London’s favourite fringe theatres, the intimate stage in Clapham draws you into a world of gorgeous twenties glamour, spectacular musical numbers and toe-tapping show tunes.
Regardless of being a scaled down fringe production with a cast of twelve, Matthew Iliffe’s revival captures all of the fun and fizz of a roaring era delivered by an exceptionally dynamic ensemble. Francesca Lara Gordon takes the lead as ‘new girl in town’ Millie Dillmount, she’s a Kansas girl drawn to the lights of a big city in order to find herself a rich husband, but when she bumps into cheeky chappy Jimmy Smith, played by Ben Stacey, her path takes an unexpected turn.
Gordon’s vocals are flawless as she delivers the musical classics ‘Not for the Life of Me‘ and ‘Forget About the Boy‘ with real sparkle and sass. There was something a touch Carey Mulligan about her with a wonderful twenties essence that was very Gatsby. Equally Stacey wins over the audience (and eventually Millie’s heart) with a sweetness and handsome charm as the supporting lead.
Despite the size of the stage, Sam Spencer-Lane’s choreography is a complete show-stealer, full of twenties fizz and high energy routines that simply has you shimmy-ing in your seat and flappering all the way home. The cast dance with exceptional precision and slick execution making this a truly strong ensemble that nearly has them crashing through the floor.
You haven’t got long to catch this gem, but I urge you to grab your tassels and dancing shoes and head on over to The Landor for a super entertaining production that effervesces with light hearted, fabulous fun.
Thoroughly Modern Millie runs until 13th September at The Landor Theatre.