When I was offered press tickets to Pretty Woman the Musical, I was really excited to see it, but this excitement was mixed with a tinge of scepticism over how the stage show would measure up compared to the film. After all, Julia Roberts and Richard Gere and the chemistry they shared are a tough act to measure up to. However, even just a few minutes into the show it was clear that the cast had taken this iconic film and turned it in to something really special on stage.
Everyone is familiar with the Cinderella story of prostitute Vivian Ward who is hired by the millionaire businessman Edward Lewis to be his girlfriend for six days (and if you are not how have you managed to miss this?)!
Amber Davies really shone as the leading lady, and managed to capture the vulnerable side that Vivian tries to suppress perfectly. Her song Anywhere But Here about the desperation to escape her life as a prostitute gave me goosebumps, and it is still stuck in my head 24 hours later.
I found Oliver Savile really likable as Edward Lewis, and the chemistry between the two leading actors was clear to see. It came across very clearly how besotted Edward had become with Vivian, and how much of an impact she had on his life. In particular with the song There’s Something About Her where he puzzles over the effect, she has had on him.
The other undisputed star of the show is Ore Oduba, who switches effortlessly between the two characters of Happy Man and Mr Thompson, the manager of the Beverly Wiltshire Hotel. His comic timing was brilliant, and he was supported by Noah Harrison as Giulio in some very comic scenes inside the hotel.
Natalie Paris deserves a mention for her portrayal of Vivian’s best friend Kit De Luca. She appears to be this real tough nut, but Natalie allows us to see her softer side, with her fierce devotion to Vivian. My only complaint is that we didn’t get to see enough of her!
The show ended with a real treat for the audience when, after the cast had taken their bows, we were treated to a rendition of the Roy Orbison classic Pretty Woman. I am not sure that there was a single member of the audience not singing along!
I am a regular theatre goer, and have seen some brilliant shows this year. I would go as far to say that Pretty Woman is the best thing I have seen at the Bristol Hippodrome this year, and anyone who has tickets to see it is in for a real treat!
Pretty Woman the Musical plays the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday, November 11. Online tickets from £13 plus £3.80 transaction fee HERE