Touring – reviewed at New Victoria Theatre, Woking
If you want some ab-inspiration then Flashdance is the show for you. I saw the show in Wimbledon back in October and wasn’t the biggest fan. However, knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone seems a lot more settled into their roles and there is much more of a flow throughout.
Flashdance centres around the story of Alex, a welder who dreams of being a dancer and attend the distinguished Shipley Academy. On her journey she meets a dapper love interest who also happens to be the boss’ son.
Aside from this, there are some other subplots such as Jimmy who wants to make it big as a comedian, his girlfriend Gloria being pulled into a seedy drug-filled world at a rival club and the imminent job cuts for all the apprentices.
With regards to these, I feel the same as before, that they’re not really explored enough to be of that much importance, but I totally get that they have to be in there to pad out the show.
But Flashdance is all about the classic, big money numbers which are delivered with spades of energy and commitment. Hits such as ‘Gloria’, ‘What A Feeling’ and ‘Manic’ are instantly recognisable and work brilliantly to hype the audience up and draw them into the world of the show.
A lot of the other songs are a little unmemorable but the vigour with which they are performed makes up for it. Joanne Clifton is exceptional as Alex. From Strictly fame, she’s of course known for her dance, but seeing her on stage performing Matt Cole’s choreography is extra special.
She’s magnetic and draws you in even when performing a group number. Her vocals are strong although at times I found her diction lacking but she is certainly cut out for the role and I can see why she has abs of steel from being that full out every night! As her rich-boy boyfriend, Ben Adams is equally as strong. Whilst his pop vocals are not commonplace in the musical theatre world, they are strong and fit with the character. The pair have a lovely chemistry and really draw you into the story.
I have to mention Colin Kiyani as Jimmy who again gave me Ben Platt vibrato vibes and Hollie-Ann Lowe who was versatile and vulnerable as his girlfriend, Gloria. Again, the two have a sweet chemistry. Sasha Latoya is vocally breathtaking and equally humourous whilst Sia Dauda and Demmileigh Foster (who is literally Victoria Hamilton-Barritt reincarnated) were full out in their high octane numbers and Kiki and Tess.
There were a few technical issues such as mics being too quiet and the irony wasn’t missed when one of the girls’ top wouldn’t stay done up when singing about keeping her clothes on! Totally no ones fault though and a very small detail in a big production. I’m also not a big fan of megamixes at the end of shows but there’s no denying that it got everyone up on their feet and in a good mood as they left the theatre.
Flashdance isn’t the most astounding piece of theatre but it’s high energy from start to finish with some memorable songs that’ll definitely get stuck in your head. For a fun night out that’ll leave you smiling and in my case, dancing round the house, then be sure to pay a visit to this 80s classic on stage.