Little Miss Sunshine // A Road Musical

Press tickets courtesy of Grand Opera House York in exchange for this review.

Last night I was kindly invited to see Little Miss Sunshine at the Grand Opera House in York. Obviously, I jumped at the chance! As a huge fan of the theatre, I was really looking forward to being able to see something completely new and escape from real life for an evening. And I wasn’t disappointed!

L-R Front Lily Mae Denman, Sev Koeshgerian, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Back Paul Keating, Gary Wilmot, Gabriel Vick (c) Manuel Harlan-Min
Image Credit: Manuel Harlan-Min

Having never see the film before, I didn’t really have any expectations at all. My cousin, however, who I took with me as my plus one, had actually studied the film at Uni with her course History & American Studies. She was personally interested in seeing how a film with quite dark, satirical humour could be transformed into a musical!

The Cast

The cast was small, but talented. The main character, Olive, played by Lily Mae Denman, was such a talented little actress; when you watched her, you couldn’t help but smile. She really was Little Miss Sunshine and her presence on the stage never went unnoticed. For me, Olive was definitely the highlight of the musical. Having said that, the cast as a whole were equally as brilliant; they all had moments where their character was able to shine through but it would have been lovely to have seen the characters develop throughout the performances. This was hinted at, but it was quite limited I think.

Image Credit: Manuel Harlan-Min

The Storyline

The storyline was definitely not what I expected. I purposefully didn’t do much research about the show in advance, as I wanted to come in with an open mind, so all I knew was that it was about a family road-trip to get the daughter to a beauty pageant 800 miles away. For a small cast, and relatively simple stage set-up, the story-line was well presented and very enjoyable. The darker humour came through, while touching on certain social issues, and I particularly loved the recurring theme of the ’10 Steps to Success’ and the irony that came with that. The only thing I would say, is that the first half the show took a little bit longer to get into than I would have liked, but the second half was particularly humorous and enjoyable.

The musical side of things was brilliant as well; I love a good musical and I cannot fault the singing and dancing at all. This is obviously what Laura, my cousin, was interested in seeing as the film is not a musical, and she wasn’t convinced with some of the songs, but as someone who hasn’t seen the film, I loved it. The final song was definitely my favourite and just ended the whole show and a high.

Image Credit: Manuel Harlan-Min


My only concern with this show is that I don’t think it is completely age-appropriate. There were some darker themes and swearing throughout which some parents might be comfortable with their children seeing. I know my Mum certainly wouldn’t be! However, I can see it appealing to teenagers and older! Grand Opera House York are actually offering 14- 26 year olds Little Miss Sunshine tickets for £10 plus a free drink. If you’re interested in seeing the show and you’re within this age bracket, I would highly recommend seeing this! All you need to do is mention SUNSHINE10 when booking (either online, in the box office or on the phone) to receive this offer.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and my whole evening for that matter. It has definitely made me want to go and watch the film now as well! Also, it was so lovely to catch up with some of the York bloggers and I can’t wait to see them all again! A special thank you to the Grand Opera House York for inviting me to see this, and also to Pippa (Life Of Pippa) for organising it for us all! Also, if you’d like to read a Chronic Illness review, you can read Pippa’s own review of the musical.

Press tickets courtesy of Grand Opera House York in exchange for this review. Little Miss Sunshine is live at Grand Opera House York from Tuesday 4th-Saturday 8th June (get your tickets here!), before continuing to tour the UK. Additional tour dates can be found here


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