Throughly Modern Millie

Amanda Holden was good but the rest of the show wasn’t great.

PY and I have a knack of seeing musicals in London’s theatreland just before they close. We’re just back from seeing Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Shaftesbury Theatre which we decided to do very last minute.

Amanda Holden is the Kansas girl arriving in New York at the height of the Roaring Twenties and is something of a revelation. She was truly excellent and carried the show. It’s such a shame that it’s closing and she has had some of the blame but I didn’t think it was a killer show.

Although it’s set in the twenties it was written much more recently yet, sadly, it had a somewhat dated feel which Anything Goes (which is older) didn’t when we saw it a few months ago. I don’t think it’s helped by Anita Dobson’s character Mrs Meers, a failed actress pretending to be an Oriental landlady. The character seems dated and the impersonation of a Chinese woman somewhat patronising. I had wanted to see Maureen Lipman in the role (she starred when the play first opened) and was described by one review as, Grotesque and comical, she’s verbally and physically sharp-witted” [source] but I think I am glad I didn’t. I don’t think it was Dobson but the character which was uncomfortable.

Still, it’s such a shame so many of London’s plays and musicals are closing right now. I do enjoy a good night out at the theatre. This, sadly, was only mediocre.