Reviewed by Rebecca Wong
I need to be honest. My 2 children and I are absolutely mad about The Greatest Showman film. We sing, we dance and we re-enact our favourite scenes regularly throughout the week. So, naturally, we had very high expectations for the sing-a-long-a show and is DID NOT disappoint!
Having never been to a sing-a-long-a show we didn’t know what to expect beyond watching the film with subtitles for the music. However, it turned out to be so much more than that. The show gave every opportunity for interaction and enhanced the experience further with added effects to the film including smoke, bangs and snow.
Before going into the theatre at The Lowry, myself and my 3 and 6 year olds were provided with our very own goody bag each containing props to be used during the film. We were greeted on stage by our host who looked like he would have belonged in Barnums own sensational circus. He (she) informed us that we were to react to certain points in the film with certain sound effects or when we saw particular characters, the whole audience were joining in and it was clear that everyone was there to have great fun. Adults and children alike were dressed up and were even asked to stand up and show off their costumes to the rest of the audience. It was a wonderful atmosphere and everyone was waving the first prop in the air from their goody bag – the glow stick!
When the film started, the lights went out and everyone was singing along to the opening song it was almost like being at a music gig.
In case you haven’t seen the film the story follows a young man named P.T Barnum (Hugh Jackman) who came from nothing and having lost his parents had to live a hard life fending for himself. He ended up joining a travelling circus whilst meanwhile keeping in touch a young lady by the name of Charity (Michelle Williams) who had stolen his heart. Charity came from a very rich family and loved him too.
Many years later, once Charity had left the finishing school she had been sent away to, Barnum and Charity eloped to start a new life together much to the disgust of Charity’s parents. They were very happy together and started a family but Barnum always had a desire to do better, to make up for the rags from which he came and to prove Charity’s father wrong. Inspired by his own children he managed to get a large bank loan and start a museum which in time morphed into a circus, taking on the rejects of society, people with unusual skills; differences and curiosities which the public would pay to look at.
The circus was a huge success, the group worked well together and Barnum took on a new manager Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron) who helps excel it to new heights. Barnum was living the dream, he and his family wanted for nothing. However, he wanted more and this greed lead him to make some bad decisions and ignore the hostility in the town that was growing towards Barnum and his ‘freak show’. Would the circus and his family survive? You’ll have to watch to find out!
The film is centred around the music and so having a sing-a-long is the natural next step for a fan, don’t come and see the sing-a-long if you haven’t seen the film before. It’s definitely the next step to enjoying all it has to offer and the best bit for me was the electric atmosphere in the theatre which showed what a massive following the film has and how its stolen people’s hearts.
The whole show lasted around 2.5 hours with a 20 minute intermission which was much needed for the younger children. The tickets retail at around £16 depending on your seats and I would say this show is a must for any fan of the film. It’s great for children and adults alike and dressing up is definitely encouraged for even more fun. If you want a really good sing along and a dance this an experience not to be missed.
The Greatest Showman Sing-a-long-a is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.singalonga.net.
For other shows The Lowry in Manchester visit www.thelowry.com or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000