Imagine a cross between the hit musical Six and the Night and the Museum film franchise and you get an idea of what the show currently delighting festive audiences at The Lowry is all about.

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World returns to Salford for an extended run as part of a major UK tour.

For director Amy Hodge the show has very much been a labour of love. One of the UK’s leading directors she has been with the project from the outset.

Lancashire Telegraph: Amy Hodge, director of Fantastically Great Women

“It is quite weird when you effectively ‘let go’ of a show,” she said. “I will be coming up to see it and to check on everyone but I’m also excited for the cast as it’s their chance to claim the space and to really own it.

“There is an element of pride, I suppose, and I’m also excited for them that they are getting the chance to perform this show.”

Fantastically Great Women tells the story of a young girl who gets separated from her school party during a visit to the museum and gets caught up in the lives of famous women throughout history.

Characters ranging from Rosa Parks, Marie Curie and artist Freda Karlo all come to life. A live all-girl band on stage adds to the fun and the show features songs written by Miranda Cooper who has written hits for Kylie and Girls Aloud.

The show is very much a celebration of women, one of the reasons Amy believes it has proved so popular.

Lancashire Telegraph: Fantastically Great Women (Picture: Pamela Raith)

“For any show to be a success it’s all about timing and luck, the quality of the work and being in the moment which I think this very definitely is,” she said. “We have been fortunate to have been given a space for stories told with joy that put women at the heart of it. There is also something about the optimism of the whole thing.

“I think it’s a really good time to look at each other and our world with a bit of cheer.

“Some of the women featured you might know very little about. Others are more well-known but even then you will discover more. We have woven a narrative with a bit of cheek in there so there are laughs along the way.

“I just think it has the right mix of fun, great songs, modern choreography and a bit of learning.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Fantastically Great Women (Picture: Pamela Raith)

Comparisons have been made with the global smash Six, the musical about the wives of Henry VIII.

“I can see why,” said Amy, “but Six has more of a concert feel to it whereas we have a central narrative based around one character. I’d say the main similarity with Six is the energy of the evening. It’s great to have such a successful show and I’d definitely say that if you like Six you will like Fantastically Great Women.

“But as the show has grown it has also got an appeal across generations; there is something in it for everybody.”

Keen theatregoers might recall seeing Fantastically Great Women at the Lowry in April last year when the show made its debut UK tour.

“I’ve really enjoyed being able to go back to the show and tweak certain things,” said Amy. “I really do think the show is even better for that.

“Whenever you start with a new production, how successful it is really is in the lap of the gods but with this I felt we had something beautiful and special.

“And the producers really believed in it which is a massive factor and they have backed it.

“When you read a play, you often think ‘this is great’ but whether it has a longer commercial life is another matter.”

Fantastically Great Women has struck a chord with audiences with many people returning to see the show several times.

“Whether you are a kid or a grown up there is this thing about a shared experience which being in the theatre gives you,” said Amy. “With this show everyone gets pumped. It’s about the joys of being a woman; all these amazing women from history are so different and have great stories to tell. I think people identify with the show in lots of different ways.

“I also think it’s a very different show but it’s also a really good night out with banging pop tunes, taking beats of history and making it really accessible.”

Amy’s career has seen her involved in a wide range of productions including Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre and children’s musical at the National Theatre and a production of Mother Courage and Her Children at Manchester’s Royal Exchange which starred Julie Hesmondhalgh.

Lancashire Telegraph: Freda Karlo, one of the Fantastically Great Women at The Lowry                                           (Picture: Pamela Raith)

“I have worked on very varied shows,” said Amy, “but I’m always interested in communicating with an audience and having something that they want to see. For me as a director the main driving force is telling a really powerful story in the most entertaining way.

“As a director you are always moving on to the next thing but I am excited that audiences are getting the chance to see Fantastically Great Women. There is talk of it going oversees and I’d love it to go into the West End but we’ll see. For the moment I just want audiences at The Lowry to really enjoy it.”

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World is at The Lowry until January 7. Details from