Pretty Woman – Review – Leeds Grand Theatre

Pretty Woman Review Leeds Grand Theatre (2)

By Sue Dean, May 2024

In this glitzy adaptation of the rom-com perennial, Amber Davies and Oliver Savile lead an excellent cast in an unapologetic celebration of nonsense that is sure to entertain fans of the original film. Ok, Pretty Woman might not be Chekhov – it doesn’t pretend to be – but it is mostly joyous theatrical escapism.

Amber Davies steps into the iconic role of Vivian, made famous by Julia Roberts, with impressive aplomb. Despite her petite stature, Davies commands the stage with faultless singing, dancing, and acting, holding the entire production together with vibrant energy.

Opposite her, Oliver Savile plays Edward, the character Richard Gere immortalised on screen. Though Savile has a bit less to do compared to Davies, his presence is undeniably watchable, enhanced by a wonderful singing voice that brings a fresh appeal to the character. Their onstage chemistry is palpable, and while Davies might only reach Savile’s chest in height, together they create a dynamic that is both endearing and compelling to watch.

Pretty Woman Review Leeds Grand Theatre (3)

“Visual grandeur”

The supporting cast also shines brightly. Natalie Paris as Kit de Luca delivers some of the most powerful vocal performances of the evening, her voice resonating through Leeds Grand with impressive strength. Ore Oduba, known for his versatility, provides much-needed comic relief, popping up in various roles with clever costume changes and showcasing his own impressive singing and dancing skills.

The production looks fantastic from the outset, opening with a back view of the famous Hollywood sign. This visual grandeur continues throughout the show as each familiar scene and outfit from the movie is meticulously recreated. While the famous Lotus car does not make an appearance, it is mentioned frequently enough to satisfy fans’ expectations.

Musically, the show features an original rock score by Grammy winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. Though the first scene’s choreography felt a bit clunky due to the music’s rhythm, this issue was quickly resolved as the show progressed. The score, filled with rock anthems, complements the narrative well, even if it does lead to some awkward dance moments initially.

Pretty Woman Review Leeds Grand Theatre (1)

“Climatic moments”

The storyline remains faithful to the original film, with no attempt to modernise some of its more outdated elements. This production is squarely aimed at those who hold the 1990 movie close to their hearts. Despite knowing the inevitable outcome, the audience eagerly anticipates the climactic moments, cheering as Edward climbs the fire escape to Vivian’s apartment. By the time the finale arrives, with ‘The Big ‘O’ playing, the entire audience is on their feet, clapping and cheering in unison.

Pretty Woman: The Musical is directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell. The powerhouse creative team, combined with standout performances from the cast, ensures this feel-good adaptation is both a nostalgic trip and a genuine theatrical experience.

‘Pretty Woman’ is at Leeds Grand Theatre until 25th May


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