The blockbuster dancing sensation Flashdance The Musical is making its way around the UK for its highly anticipated tour.
As you would have gathered it’s based on the iconic 80’s movie about welder and night club entertainer Alex Owen who always wanted to be a professional dancer. Since the musical’s world premiere in Plymouth in 2008 it has seen huge success with previous tours of the UK, US and a stint at the West End. It’s fuel is motivation to seek that inner drive to achieve your dreams and this is documented and celebrated completely in Flashdance. There’s no better way to express that than at the theatre.
Joanne Clifton plays Alex Owens who wants to audition at an academy to be a dancer and seeks help off the golden oldie Hannah (Carol Ball). The 18 year old welder eventually finds love interest with her boss Nick Hurley, played by the incredible Ben Adams. Alex is also a dancer at Harry’s bar and is joined by her friends Tess (Demmileigh Foster), Kiki (Sia Kauda) and Gloria (Hollie Ann Lowe). Harry (Rikki Chamberlain) and his nephew Jimmy (Colin Kiyani) start to lose business when a new explicit club opens across the road that is ran by the pestering CC (Matt Concannon).
Both acts were absolutely superb even though it took a little while for Act I to start going. Clifton was pure perfection to watch whether it would be watching Alex to achieve her dream or the eye watering choreography she has mastered. Sparks fly when Clifton and Adams share the stage together and those two singing becomes a powerful experience. The unsung heroes were Hannah (Ball) and Louise (Sahsa Latoya) who are a surprisingly heartwarming double act. The whole cast threw everything at the audience and they fully deserved the standing ovation at the end.
Despite Flashdance being set in the 80’s this production offers a somewhat weirdly modern feel when it comes to the set and costumes. The mixture of original and cover songs are a perfect blend of nostalgic smash hits you will not stop singing. The changes to the set when a new scene starts is done so casually yet it doesn’t effect the flow of the story or songs. The musical is consistent when it comes to the story telling along with the sheer quality it proudly radiates. If the choreography doesn’t impress you than you really need a firm slap around the face with a sweaty leotard.
I have to admit I wasn’t a fan of musical adaptations of classic films, but Flashdance is a firm example of world class entertainment. It feels so much better than the film adding more depth to the story and characters; it makes you care much more as you learn about them. Clifton completely owns her part and makes the iconic movie dance sequences exhilarating to witness in person. What a feeling it was to feel so alive before it all ended as this performance felt like it was my life support. The cast are completely untouchable and nothing will make you feel more electrified than Sell-A-Door’s unforgettable production of Flashdance.