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This show is the greatest

Regan Gascoigne, Kalifa Burton, Archie Durrant, Jamie Corner & Alexanda O'Reilly in GREATE

Bristol Hippodrome has a treat in store for you this week.

Greatest Days opened on Monday evening, September 11, and if you haven’t already grabbed yourself a ticket, you need to right now!  

Wednesday can quite often be one of those days where you wake up feeling a bit meh - they do call it hump day after all.

That was certainly not me this morning!

I definitely had a bit of a spring in my step, a smile on my face and realised I was humming Take That songs to myself whilst preparing the school packed lunches. 

This was all thanks to a visit to Bristol Hippodrome yesterday evening to watch Greatest Days which completely transported me back to my early teenaged years and evoked some tucked away happy memories! 

It isn’t the first time I’ve seen the musical, although back in 2018 it was called The Band.

I know I really enjoyed it then, but I think I preferred it this time round.

I loved every bit of it and have to say it was in my opinion it’s an absolute smash hit and up there as one of my favourites! 

Written by Tom Firth, who brought Calendar Girls to the stage, this spectacular musical follows five boy band obsessed best friends in the 90s, who reunite more than 20 years later to see their heartthrobs one last time.  I think what I liked so much about it were the four main characters when they were young – Rachel, Zoe, Heather and Claire, who reminded me of what it actually was like being a huge boy band fan during that era – singing the songs, learning the dance moves, taping the songs off the radio on cassette, posters on every bedroom wall, choosing which one you were going to marry and reading Smash Hits back to front!  

Funnily enough back then I wasn’t a Take That fan.

I was obsessed with four other boys from the West End of London and after that, five boys Stateside.

It wasn’t until years later when the band split that I started to listen to them in between the love I’d discovered for indie and rock music!

It was a great time and the good bits far outweigh the hard parts and the challenges and heartbreak that also comes with being a teenager!  

I can’t not mention ‘the boys’ or the band who feature throughout.

I had forgotten quite how much they were in it.

They delivered as 90s heartthrobs brilliantly and it was great to see them in oversized baggy trousers, vest tops, and dancing over the stage, just as would have happened. I can imagine it being quite a fun experience for them all to play superstars! 

I also loved the older versions of the main female characters.

Starring as modern-day Rachel was Jennifer Ellison, who rose to fame playing Emily Shadwick in Brookside, but has enjoyed a varied career both on stage and on television. 

Heather, played by Rachel Marwood, was one of my favourites, possibly because she reminded me of Ginger Spice, and therefore offered another throwback to the 90s.

She brought a lot of humour to the role alongside Zoe, played by Holly Ashton, and Claire, (Jamie-Rose Monk).   

Greatest Days has something for everyone - whether you are or were a fan of boy bands, grew up in the 90s, love a musical or simply the theatre itself.

It’s funny, cheesy at times, moving and also incredibly sad.

It takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions that makes you want to Never Forget!  

And if you are a huge Take That fan, then you have 15 of their record-breaking hits to sing along to!  

Now, I could easily write about this show all day, but you’ll have to excuse me, I’ve got a 90s playlist ready to go which needs listening to and some photo albums to flick through! 

If you’re in need of a reason to get out this week, then let this be it. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

You might just get a trip down memory lane as well! 

Greatest Days is on until Saturday, September 16 every evening and there are two matinee performances also available.

Head to to book your tickets from £18. 

Saturday matinee is nearly sold out.

Trudi Hodges

LtoR Regan Gascoigne, Archie Durrant, Kalifa Burton, Jamie Corner & Alexanda O'Reilly in G
LtoR Emilie Cunliffe as Young Rachel & Mary Moore as Debbie in GREATEST DAYS, credit Alast
LtoR Regan Gascoigne, Archie Durrant, Jamie Corner, Kalifa Burto & Alexanda O'Reilly in GR

From letf Emilie Cunliffe as Young Rachel and Mary Moore as Debbiie

BOY BAND: Regan Gascoigne, Kalifa Burton, Archie Durrant, Jamie Corner, Alexanda O'Reilly in Greatest Day. Photos: Alastair Muir

From lop Regan Gascoigne, Archie Durrant, Kalifa Burton, Jamie Corner and Alexanda O'Reilly

From left Regan Gascoigne, Archie Durrant, Jamie Corner, Kalifa Burto and Alexanda O'Reilly

LtoR Hannah Brown, Mary Moore, Emilie Cunliffe, Kitty Harris & Mari McGinlay in GREATEST D

From left Hannah Brown, Mary Moore, Emilie Cunliffe, Kitty Harris and Mari McGinlay

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