It’s been a seriously long time coming but off-Broadway hit, Vanities, has finally made it’s way to London’s West End, and boy was it worth the wait.
The fun-filled musical tells the story of three best friends, Joanne (Lizzy Connolly), Kathy (Ashleigh Gray), and Mary (Lauren Samuels), as they leave high school, attend college and basically grow up, and ultimately apart, through the 60s and 70s.
With the show being comprised of the three actresses alone, it is certainly one to watch but if you need a little more convincing, here are five reasons why you should give it a whirl:
1. London Has Been Waiting Literal DECADES For It
The play version of Vanities opened in New York City a whopping 40 years ago and then went on to perform across the globe, however, due to “contractual issues” it was never quite able to reach the UK.
It since got turned into a musical with a little help from David Kirshenbaum and the rest, as they say, is history.
If the 40 year anticipation doesn’t make it worth watching, we’re not sure what does to be honest.
2. The Amazing Cast
As we already mentioned, the play is comprised of just three actresses. They skillfully and naturally move the set pieces around themselves, they carry the entire two hour show without hesitation, and they are somehow able to tell a detailed and intricate story without any supporting cast to help bring it to life, which is no mean feat.
By the end of the show we felt as if we knew so many more characters than just the three that we could see on stage because the script is just so vibrant and the performances are so believable. In short, the amount of sheer talent that these three ladies possess should definitely be applauded.
3. Flawless Songs
We may never get the chance to see Vanities as the original play that it was 40 years ago, but we have to admit, we don’t think that we would want to. The soundtrack for the show is one of the most fun-filled from any musical theatre production in London right now, and you’ll definitely leave the theatre humming along to at least a couple of them.
Each of the actresses get their chance at a big solo number and none of them disappoint, with each song aiding the development of the story rather than prolonging it, as seen in many other big musicals.
4. The Costumes
The show kicks off in 1963 and goes from there, so obviously the costumes were always going to be something to marvel at.
In high school, the girls are preppy cheerleaders before they move into a sorority house in Dallas for their college years, and this is where the outfits really begin to shine.
Proving that all attention to detail has been paid, Vanities left us wanting to hotfoot it down to our nearest vintage shop the minute that the show was over.
5. It’s Heartwarming
Look, we’ve all seen many musicals that have had us dancing in our seats but very few affect us emotionally too. On top of being impressively witty with a script that made the audience laugh out loud many times, it is also incredibly heartwarming and will fill you with a nostalgic pang for all of your old school friends that you may have lost along the way.
Despite being set over fifty years ago, absolutely everybody can relate to the story of growing up and discovering who you are and that is why the final scenes will leave you with an ache in your heart and, very possibly, tears in your eyes.
Photo Credit: Pamela Raith