A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

Sylvia

Sylvia
08 March 2023
Old Vic
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

There has been a lot of talk about Sylvia at the Old Vic, so when I finally got to see it, I had very high expectations. All of which were fully surpassed by this high powered, modern musical.

Taking on the story of Sylvia Pankhurst, this powerhouse of a musical sets new standards for modern theatre. Very Hamilton-esque, the diverse cast and contemporary music are absolutely enchanting.

With a very monochromatic, black and white aesthetic, it’s a visually appealing if somewhat stark piece. The dynamic newsprint background, shifting and moving throughout the show, is a fantastic backdrop for the mostly black and grey costumes. With bare white lighting framing the stage beautifully, the cast circles through powerful songs to tell the story of Sylvia, daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, as she finds her own identity and opposes her mother’s less intersectional activism.

Banding together with labour politician Keir Hardie, Sylvia’s fight for equality goes further than that of her mother, which leads to tension within the family and scandals in the press.

The show is so dynamic and young, fresh and engaging. It was a joy from start to finish, through all the heartfelt tragic moments, and the uplifting successes.

A brilliant addition to modern musicals, I can see this one becoming a staple in the West End!

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