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Review | Pretty Woman | Palace Theatre Manchester | 27/02/2024

Thirty four years after the iconic rom-com was released, Pretty Woman has transformed into a musical that is now touring the country. Having delighted audience in both the West End and on Broadway, the hit musical visits Manchester for the first time.

When Hollywood Boulevard prostitute Vivian Ward meets rich business tycoon Edward Lewis, both of their lives are turned upside down. Vivian negotiates $3,000 from him, not for sex but for his company for six days! Meanwhile Vivian does the impossible, slowly softening work obsessed Edward, whilst they unexpectedly fall for each other.

Manchester audiences are treated to the amazing talent that is Paige Fenlon in the lead role. With Julia Roberts winning a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Vivian in the film, it is a tough act to follow. However Fenlon does so with ease, exuding warmth and heart whilst remaining utterly charming in the role. It is easy to see why she covered this role on the west end stage. Through her characterisation the audience really feel like they are living the fairytale with her, and we root for her entirely.

The show really gets started the moment Natalie Paris opens her mouth to sing in opening number ‘Welcome To Hollywood’. Paris, one of the original ‘Six’ queens, is an absolute vocal powerhouse. Her powerful rock vocals really bring out the best in Bryan Adams score. When she is on stage it is impossible to keep your eyes off her!

Playing love interest Edward, Ben Darcy is every bit the leading man. He is supported by the wonderful Ore Oduba, who shines brightest when teamed with Noah Harrison as Guilio. Harrison is an absolute stand out as haphazard bell boy Guilio, having the audience in stitches throughout.

The simple set worked well, brought to life by vibrant lighting throughout. Under Jerry Mitchell’s direction the movie is fully brought to life in this musical, with nods to the original film. From costuming to iconic quotes, fans of the 1990 blockbuster won’t be disappointed! Pretty Woman does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s nostalgic, camp and a whole lot of fun. Missing this would be a big mistake… HUGE!

Pretty Woman plays at Manchester’s Palace Theatre until Saturday 16 March 2024.

Note: My ticket was gifted. Irrespective of whether a show is gifted or bought, I always ensure that my reviews are fair and based on my honest opinion alone.


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