Naomi MacKay was ready to take that and party at the jukebox musical Greatest Days at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre.
Jukebox musicals sometimes suffer from a weak or contrived storyline, as the writers try to fit specific songs into the set, but Greatest Days creator Tim Firth cleverly took another tack, by making it all about the fans.
In fact ‘The Official Take That Musical’ never even mentions the band by name, instead calling them The Boys. But it taps into the psyche of every girl who was obsessed with a boy band, whose songs became the soundtrack to their teenage years.
Greatest Days takes us back to the 90s, with a group of 16-year-olds, who are, as they put it, ‘fantastic’ – full of hopes and dreams for their futures. When they win tickets to see The Boys, it’s the greatest moment of their lives so far, but tragedy is just around the corner, and they lose touch.
Fast forward 25 years and the girls are all grown up – and when Rachel (Jennifer Ellison) wins tickets to see The Boys in their reunion tour, they have their own reunion.
And as so often happens, their dreams haven’t quite come true – but will this trip change their lives once more?
The story is a tale of two halves – the teenage girls played wonderfully by Bayley Hart, Kitty Harris, Olivia Hallett, Mari McGinlay and Hannah Brown – while the older girls are led by former Brookside star Jennifer Ellison, with Holly Ashton, Karen Holmes, and Jamie-Rose Monk.
And throughout, The Boys accompany the girls through a catalogue of Take That Hits – sometimes performing concert-styles, at others in the background of the action.
It’s a cleverly woven performance – often funny (props to Alan Stocks, who plays Every Dave, be they caretaker, airport staff or Greek police to great comic effect) – at other times poignant.
The audience consisted of many women of a certain age – presumably fans of Take That the first time around. No doubt they related to both sets of girls. But most of all they related to the music – even if you were never a Take That fan dreaming of marrying Robbie or Little Mark – the sheer joy of the numbers will ensure that the magic of the music, and the story of the girls, shines on in you as you leave the theatre.
Greatest Days runs at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre until Saturday 11 November.