Little Miss Sunshine- The Musical has been at The Lowry this week and it’s warmth, vibrancy and energy did not disappoint.

Based off the hit 2006 comedy-drama film starring Steve Carrell and Toni Collette, Little Miss Sunshine tells the story of The Hoover’s, a dysfunctional family living in New Mexico. Comprised of mum and dad, son and daughter, grandad and uncle, the family set off on a road trip to California so that daughter Olive can take part in the ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ beauty pageant.

The narrative shows the long journey across America with secrets of the family being spilled and the relationships between the six members unfolding.

The most successful part of this musical was how involved the audience felt in the family life. I came away feeling like a part of The Hoover Family and like I knew each family member inside out. The characters felt relatable, particularly Grandpa Hoover played by former Coronation Street star Mark Moraghan who played the foul-mouthed and young at heart elder.

Further credit must go to The Voice 2015 Runner Up Lucy O’Byrne who was the biggest surprise in terms of acting ability for her portrayal as mum Sheryl Hoover.

Furthermore, Sophie Hartley-Booth who played six year old Olive was a shining star and her ability to capture the innocence yet confidence of the character was fantastic, I’m sure this won’t be the last we see of her.


From the quarrels around the table over a KFC at the beginning of the show to the mind numbing conversations on the journey, the actors helped bring the story true to life. This accompanied by a fantastic musical score brought a wonderful energy.

The singing throughout was strong, particularly by Imelda Warren-Green who played the hideous Linda who’s ability to make terrible singing from the character still sound good was very impressive.

Though the staging wasn’t filled with large special effects, it felt natural to the story with much of the staging being comprised of just six chairs, helping to create the Volkswagen campervan that they travel in.

Whilst much of the show was high energy and fun, the poignancy in some scenes and songs helped balance it and made for a very enjoyable evening.

Further tour dates of Little Miss Sunshine can be found at

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