IT’S the ultimate history lesson that looks set to become the latest stage sensation.

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is currently enthralling audiences at The Lowry, Salford Quays, with its heady mix of catchy pop songs, inspiring characters and thought-provoking messages.

It’s the story of some of the most influential women in history - some well-known, others relatively unknown - and how they had an impact on shaping the world we live in.

Characters range from Emmeline Pankhurst and Rosa Parks to Amelia Earhart to Marie Curie all brought to life by an all-female cast.

Christina Modestou is one of the stars of the show and plays four key characters - author Jane Austen, Anne Frank, dinosaur hunter Mary Anning and Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel.

“It’s about a young girl who wanders off in a museum and gets to meet all these incredible women from history,” she said. “In a way I suppose it’s a bit like the film Night at the Museum in that respect.

“But it’s such a great show, it’s got a bit of everything in there from the songs and the choreography to the narrative which really engages the audience.

“The great thing so far has been that audiences are really listening and taking it in; that is an absolute joy. We’ve had everyone from young people to grandmas and grandads just being so positive about the show and being so excited by it. It really packs a punch.”

Christina was in the original production of Six the musical based around the wives of Henry VIII which has become a global success story.

“Fantastically Great Women is different to Six,” she said. “Six was a bit like going to see your favourite band whereas this encompasses all the art forms and has a central theme running through it.

“The key difference is that none of this show centres around a man, Six was about the wives and their relationship to Henry VIII whereas we are telling the women’s stories and how they came through in spite of patriarchal society.”


Christina Modestou

Christina Modestou


It has certainly proved a steep learning curve for Christina.

“I have to say I really didn’t know who Gertrude Ederle was until I started to research her,” she said. “But I think that’s one of the great things. We get the chance to tell people about some remarkable women.”

With a live band and some outrageous costumes, Fantastically great Women is far removed from your average history lesson and Christina believes that is part of its appeal.

“This show’s an absolute beast to be part of,” she said. “It’s 100 per cent from the moment you walk on stage, we never stop. There is such a great energy about it and the songs are all bangers.

“And because of that I think audiences are taking in more than they realise. It’s so much more fun to learn when you are enjoying something.”

The show is currently on its first major tour and Christina is delighted to have been involved in helping to create the show that audiences now see.

“To be able to bring it from the page to the stage is really exciting.” she said. “It has been a real collaborative experience. You don’t often get the chance to take something that hasn’t been done before and run with it.


Eve-Marie Saffrey and Christina Modestou in Fantastically Great Women (Picture: Pamela Raith)

Eve-Marie Saffrey and Christina Modestou in Fantastically Great Women (Picture: Pamela Raith)


“There are no guarantees when you do but you never know. When we recorded the Six album we thought it had potential but we’d have been happy if we’d sold a few copies but it sailed away and now it’s global, That’s pretty bonkers to wrap your head around.

“It’s our job to bring shows to life but when it does take off, that’s pretty incredible and overwhelming.

“With this show we get to bring our own slant on these remarkable women. We’ve tried to capture their essence and perhaps present a larger-than-life version of them. I genuinely do think it will take off in a big way.”

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is at The Lowry until Saturday. Details from