REVIEW: Greatest Day at Wolverhampton Grand

First thing's first - this is my era. Along with the Spice Girls, Take That were part of the soundtrack of my youth, so to relive that period in full audible glory for a couple of hours seemed, on the face of it, to be a perfect way to spend an evening!


Greatest Days debuted in 2017 (under its original title; The Band). Written by Tim Firth, the story focuses on a boyband, loosely modelled on Take That, who's back catalogue provides the shows jukebox soundtrack. Talking of which, as one of the most successful British music exports of all time with seventeen top 5 singles in the UK - twelve of which have reached number one - they're responsible for seven number one albums and have received eight Brit Awards, so they haven't done too badly!

It’s 1992 and we meet five 16 year old girls for who ‘the band’ is everything. The story takes us on an emotional rollercoaster as this group of girls who were once inseparable, reunite after 25 years apart and try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting the boyband whose music became the soundtrack to their lives.

Even walking through the bar to get to the auditorium, the atmosphere and anticipation is palpable. The audience is a mixture of press, stock theatre fans and an undercurrent of Take That groupies who are here to support the band's creation. 

In fact, this show is in sync with the lives of a lot of the audience. Nearly all of the people in the theatre were those girls and this is their story. There was, however, a worry that this could become, very easily, a tribute to Take That. We were about to watch a production which centred, in a large part, on five young male singers who dress like the boys and sing their songs - however the relief set in when it was apparent that this wasn't just another jukebox musical. 


Greatest Days is a heartwarming, emotional, laugh-out-loud, explosion of a show that exceeds all expectations from the moment the first bar hits.

Naturally, the soundtrack is first class. With songs like Never Forget, Back for Good, Relight My Fire and Rule the World in your arsenal, you'd be hard pushed to go wrong. However the five male leads; Benjamin Cameron, Jamie Corner, Archie Durrant, Regan Gascoigne and Alexanda O'Reilly, are slick, well rehearsed and totally in their element on stage. 

The five girls, in their 16-year-old guise, are - for me - the stand out stars of the show. With a real chemistry on stage, exceptional comic timing and perfect delivery of some beautifully written dialogue, this group of girls made the audience belly laugh until it hurt. Evangeline Jarvis Jones stood in as young Rachel and gave a beautiful, poignant take on the character.

Such an important part of that role is to convey the duality of Rachel's love for the band - both as a 16-year-old with an appreciation for pop music but also as a coping mechanism for her parents less than perfect relationship. Jones made that distinction with ease and should be credited for her ability.

Similarly, the girls' older equivalents manage to portray a heartwarming development of the characters and there are moments of real poignancy and emotion that only add to the shows ability to take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster.


Greatest Days is a unique mix of a brilliantly written and perfectly executed stage musical, coupled with an amazing opportunity to relive a 90s boyband concert unfold before your eyes. It's a production that goes from a moment of heartbreak, where you could hear a pin drop, to breaking unfortunate parts of ancient statues off and leaving the audience crying with laughter, in the blink of an eye.

It's one of those rare breed of shows that not only let's you leave the theatre singing the soundtrack, but also with the feeling of satisfaction that you've just watched a brilliant show that you've invested yourself in fully - and that's the sign of something special. There were points where it felt like some of the slight re-write of the show left some elements without a conclusion. The performance that the entire reunion trip is based on wasn't present and, whilst that isn't necessarily an essential part of the story, it did seem like a missed opportunity to indulge the audience.

Normally at this point, I'd say 'the story isn't great, but it's strong enough to justify the show and carry the brilliant soundtrack'. However, in this instance, that would be a lie - because the story is really good! It's engaging, heartwarming and I really can't recommend it enough.

Greatest Days plays at Wolverhampton Grand until Saturday 22nd July. For more details, or to buy tickets, head to

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