Infectious songs and an all star cast make The Greatest Showman a perfect musical

The cast of The Greatest Showman

The cast of The Greatest Showman - Credit: Archant

The Greatest Showman is the perfect musical - and a late contender for best film of 2017.

With at least a dozen original songs - each as infectious and at turns emotive and uplifting - the story develops effortlessly in tune with each heartfelt lyric.

More Mamma Mia than La La Land, it might be cheesy and somewhat predictable but there’s no denying its feel-good nature.

Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, captivatingly portrayed by a dream-chasing endlessly-ambitious Hugh Jackman - a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerizing spectacle that became a worldwide sensation - it’s a bold, daring movie that is destined for the West End stage.

As well as show-stopping emotional and foot-stomping musical performances - title track ‘The Greatest Show’, the Kesha-written ‘This Is Me’ and Efron/Zendaya-duet ‘Rewrite The Stars’ could all be future West End favourites, at the film’s heart is a sense of equality.

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Offering a spotlighted stage out of the dark for the unusual, eccentric curiosities of 1920s New York, the ‘freaks’ - an impeccably-voiced Bearded Lady (Keala Settle), tallest man, fattest man - come alive, but of course not everyone’s happy with the new show in town. Met with angry mobs wielding pitchforks, inevitably the Barnum Circus faces its fair share of criticism.

Directed by new filmmaker, Michael Gracey, with songs and lyrics by Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land), it makes for the perfect end of year film.

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Zac Efron gets back in his High School Musical shoes, singing in a movie for the first time in a decade, while falling in love with model Zendaya - though, due to class and racial tensions at the time, it’s a romance that’s forbidden.

Elsewhere there’s Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams, who shares Jackman’s dreams but was born into wealth, and ovation-inducing singer Jenny Lind: Rebecca Ferguson’s stunning spine-tingling performance of ‘Never Enough’ is one of the highlights.

The Greatest Showman is all about chasing and achieving your dreams but retains the importance of not losing sight of where you come from.

The Greatest Showman is now showing at the Light Cinema in Wisbech. Visit for screening dates and times.

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