A few years ago, when our magazine was all shiny and new, we were invited to Manchester for the opening of the official TAKE THAT musical. Back then it was called The Band. We arrived at the theatre with three minutes to spare thanks to huge traffic delays, but that’s another story.

Fast forward five years and the show has a new name, a fantastic cast and some of the best songs from a 30 year Take That career.

GREATEST DAYS, as the show is now called, features more than 15 record-breaking Take That songs, alongside a heart-warming and hilarious story of love, loss and laughter from award-winning writer Tim Firth that will make your heart Shine.

The musical follows five boy band obsessed best friends in the 1990s, who reunite over 20 years later to see their heartthrobs one last time in what could be the Greatest Day of their life.

Take That told us…..

“We are so thrilled that this new production now titled ‘Greatest Days’ is back. We had an enormous amount of fun working on the original version and can’t wait to help bring this new production to over 30 cities across the UK and Ireland.”

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Take That’s first ever UK number 1 single Pray and coinciding with the summer release of the official movie of this smash hit musical – Greatest Days will be a night out at the theatre you will Never Forget.

The show stars the award-winning KYM MARSH who shot to stardom in noughties band Hear’Say and now best known for Coronation Street, Waterloo Road and as a presenter on the BBC’s Morning Live.

Kym, who plays Rachel in the show, will star alongside her daughter EMILIE CUNLIFFE who plays Young Rachel. We asked them what appealed about doing this show in particular…….

“Everything, really. I got given the script and it was amazing. The story is beautiful and it has a bit of everything. It’s emotional, it’s inspiring, it’s very funny and I love the characters. Then you add Take That’s amazing music to the mix and what’s not to love, really?

“I feel the same. I love how the story flits back in time and you learn about these women when they were younger and how they grew up. It’s all about their lives and their music, and as Mum says, it’s so funny and so emotional. It takes you on a rollercoaster through their lives and audiences are going to love it.”

Kym Marsh as Rachel & Emilie Cunliffe as Young Rachel (Photo: Alastair Muir)

Tell us a bit about each of your characters, although they’re effectively the same separated by the passage of time…..

“We play Rachel in two different forms. I play the older Rachel and Emilie plays the younger Rachel. It’s really lovely that we play these different versions of the same character and the other characters in the story all have younger and older versions as well. It’s about a group of friends who fell in love with a boyband back in the day, as we all did. [Laughs] For me, it was New Kids on the Block, that’s how old I am. It’s that thing of having a group of friends who all love the same band. Without giving anything away, there’s a bit of a twist to the story when they’re younger and we get to see what’s happened to them since that time. It’s about how the love of a boyband brings them back together.”

“Young Rachel is fun. It’s great to see the relationship between her group of friends because it’s so true to life. They’re always bickering or taking the mickey out of each other. She’s all about her friends and music, and she’s crazy about the band.”

Kym adds……

“Something happens that changes all of their lives and it transports you in time, where you see where life has taken them. The love of the band is still there, even as older women, which I think is true of Take That fans. Back in the day, in the early 90s, they had that kind of pull. Then they went away, came back and the fans were still there for them, except they were all like my age now.” 

So Emilie, how is it playing a younger version of your Mum?

“We resemble each other so much anyway, which is great, and it’s such fun to be doing this. You see the younger Rachel’s personality and then Rachel when she’s older, and it’s interesting to explore that. Mum has been giving me tips and when we did the first read through it felt like the character was in sync personality-wise.”

“I see a lot of myself in Emilie. She has the same passion. She loves music and drama. She enjoys performing. And she’s a young mum, as was I. I was 21 when I had her and she was 21 when she had her son. She’s feisty, she’s funny and she’s really driven. Over the last 12 months, she’s recorded her first album out in Nashville, now she’s doing this show, and I’ve seen her grow so much as a woman and as an artist in that time. It’s been an absolute joy to watch and now to share the stage with her is an absolute pleasure.”

Actress, presenter and singer Kym Marsh arrived on our screens back in 2000 while appearing on the hit reality TV show, Popstars. She went on to win a place in the band Hear’Say. During her time in the band, Kym achieved two UK number one singles and a number one album before leaving in 2002 to pursue a successful career as a solo artist. She went on to star in London’s West End, playing the role of Annette in the critically acclaimed musical, Saturday Night Fever. She appeared in BBC One’s Doctors and Channel 4’s Hollyoaks: In The City before joining the cast of ITV’s Coronation Street in the role of Michelle Connor in 2006, a part she would play for almost 14 years and during which time she won a string of prestigious awards for her work.

Since then she has appeared in hit BBC One drama The Syndicate and can currently be seen on BBC One’s continuing drama, Waterloo Road, where she plays the role of Nicky Walters. In 2022 Kym made it to the quarter final of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One with professional partner Graziano Di Prima and also played the iconic role of Alex Forest in a nationwide theatre tour of Fatal Attraction. She is a weekly presenter on hit daytime TV show Morning Live on BBC One. 


Emilie has been singing and performing for as long as she can remember. Having trained with Carol Godby’s Theatre Workshop from a young age, she has appeared on BBC One’s The Voice and ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent. Emilie has recently finished recording her debut album which will be released later this year. 

You’ve both done so much, Mum obviously has a year or two up on you Emilie. Have you actually worked together prior to this show?

“We’ve sang on stage together before now. I used to get Emilie up on stage to sing with me when she was 14 but we’ve never actually worked together professionally.”

“So it’s a new experience and having Mum with me for support is great. I’ve got two young kids at home and that was my biggest worry. It’s taken a while to get past the dread of leaving the kids because my life has revolved around them.”

“The thought of being away from them is worse than when you’re actually in it, because when you are in it, you just make it work. It’s about juggling things and what Emilie has is exactly what I had, which is a really supportive family network. I don’t know what I would have done without my family. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to do all the things I’ve done in my career. I had to leave my kids from time to time and when I asked Emilie ‘How did it affect your life?’ she was like ‘Obviously we missed you but we saw you because everyone made more of an effort’.”

Regan Gascoigne, Kalifa Burton, Archie Durrant, Jamie Corner, Alexanda O Reilly (Photo: Alastair Muir)

The tour will coincide with the summer release of the official movie version of this smash-hit musical, starring Aisling Bea and Jayde Adams. The movie of course will be brilliant but I guarantee that you need to seer this show live. Anyone who has been to a Take That gig will know the reason why.

Out of curiosity, we either of you fans of Take That prior to Greatest Days?

“I remember them when they wore leather gear – that very strange styling that they went through at the beginning – and I loved them from the start. What’s great about them is the music and people who come along to the show are going to love it. It doesn’t matter how old they are. Take That’s music speaks to people of all different ages and everybody knows them.”

“Mum listened to their music when I was younger, then when they came back she went to a concert and was sending me pictures and videos. I was like ‘Oh my God, amazing!’ Now I love them and I’m a big fan myself.”

The full cast for the show is as follows……

The casting for The Official Take That Musical – Greatest Days 2023 UK Tour is as follows:

The Women:

  • Rachel – Kym Marsh
  • Zoe – Holly Ashton
  • Claire – Jamie-Rose Monk
  • Heather – Rachel Marwood

The Girls:

  • Young Rachel – Emilie Cunliffe
  • Young Zoe – Hannah Brown
  • Young Claire – Marie McGinlay
  • Young Heather – Ayden Morgan
  • Young Debbie – Mary Moore

The Band:

  • Kalifa Burton
  • Jamie Corner
  • Archie Durrant
  • Regan Gascoigne
  • Alexanda O’Reilly

The Men:

  • Jeff – Christopher D Hunt 
  • Dave – Alan Stocks 

GREATEST DAYS gets to the Wales Millennium Centre, in the Donald Gordon Theatre from Tuesday 27th June through to Saturday 1st July. Performances are at 7:30pm with a 2:30pm matinee on Thursday and Saturday. For more details, and to get tickets, go HERE.