Book: Tom Hedley
Director: Hannah Chissick
Reviewer: Lauren Maughan
Get your leotards and legwarmers at the ready because you’re about to be transported back to the 1980s with Flashdance – The Musical.
This feel-good extravaganza will have you dancing in the aisles and signing along to songs that make you smile. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to an era where young people were living the American dream in search of stardom.
If you’ve not seen the film, Flashdance tells the story of Alex Owens, played by Joanne Clifton (Strictly Come Dancing). Owens works at a steelworks in man’s world, but all she wants to do is dance and perform. When she sees a ballet dancer through the window of Shipley Dance Academy, she knows that’s where she’s destined to be. But for a working-class girl, whose only experience is dancing in her local weekend club, this is going to be no easy feat.
What makes this musical special is Clifton. Her energy is electric and her dancing is phenomenal. Clifton is a class act. Who knew this Strictly star would be a triple threat? Not only is she a fantastic dancer, her singing and acting aren’t too bad either.
Clifton is supported by co-star Ben Adams (A1 boyband fame), who’s her love interest and in-line to own the steelworks. He’s on a mission to get the girl he loves and excel in the business world at the same time. Adams’ performance is pleasant, but it does feel like our lead pair are lacking that extra spark needed for the show.
Alongside the main plot, we see some other stories come to life. These work well and allow the viewer to get to know the other characters, while at the same time discovering more about our lead roles and what makes them who they are today. Colin Kiyani as Jimmy, Demmileigh Foster as Tess and Carol Ball as Hannah Stand-out. It feels Balls’ character adds something special to the production. She gets some laughs and lights up the stage – however, you’re left wanting see and know more about the friend and mentor.
Both the set and the lighting are very well done. The industrial steelworks transforms to become the bright lights of the club. We’re transported from day to night very effortlessly. Hats off to the tricky choreography and making the most of the stairs and set to bring all of the performances to life. And the final scene of the first half is a spectacular!
Music lovers are in for a treat too. Hits like Gloria, Maniac, I Love Rock and Roll make for a memorable performance – the new hits blending well with the oldies.
Flahsdance – The Musical has opened itself up to a whole new era of fans. Whether you’re fans of the film, or just enjoy a fun evening out, this could be for you! You’ll enjoy this show so much, it’ll be over in a flash, but what a feeling!
Runs until: Saturday 17 February | Image: Brian Hartley