Flashdance UK Tour Review

 As the cold draws closer and the nights draw in, I find myself looking for exciting things to fill my evenings with warmth and light. Cosy nights in front of the TV are all well and good, but the theatre is even better, and Flashdance UK Tour was exactly the electric experience I needed on a stormy Autumn night.

a poster for flashdance the musical with a dancer silhouetted on a chair and the title in neon pink lights

After watching Dirty Dancing on stage I was a little apprehensive that the 80's film wouldn't translate well, but fortunately I was proven wrong, and the show had engrossing story lines, comedy characters, and cleverly designed set and lighting to ensure that none of the detail or drama was missed.

joanne clifton and the flashdance cast mid-routine on stage
Photo: Brian Hartley
With Strictly's Joanne Clifton taking the lead, I knew that the dance routines would be incredible, but I hadn't anticipated her vocals and acting being just as powerful. She totally embodied the role of Alex, a tough street girl with big dreams, and somehow managed to bring a rough-around-the-edges vibe to her delicate and perfectly executed movements.

The male role was filled by Ben Adams, of pop group A1. His singing experience clearly came into play, and each of his songs was fantastic. His harmonies with Clifton were perfect, and the pair were able to deliver long, powerful notes just as easily as softer lines. Again, while his known talent is singing, he was certainly up to scratch acting the role of Nick Hurley, company executive by day, Alex's boyfriend by night, and his dances were just as impressive as the chorus.

dancers in mechanic overalls stood at a bar on stage
three female dancers in 80s costumes
Photos: Brian Hartley
The chorus had to work just as hard as the main roles in Flashdance, as they moved sets, sang, and portrayed the supporting characters. Above all, I have to give a special mention to their phenomenal dancing. There were several moments where I audibly gasped, as they lifted and leaped on stage. As you might imagine, the show had even more routines and variety than most musicals, and each one was better than the last, thanks to their impeccable timing, neat footwork, and their strength in performing individually, as couples, and as a group. In all honesty, I have heard better vocals, and did think that some of the songs needed slight improvement, but the dancing more than made up for it.

joanne clifton stands centre stage while 8 dancers behind her leap in the air, arms outstretched
Photo: Brian Hartley
Speaking of improvement, the performers sadly faced a tough crowd. Perhaps the bad weather was to blame, but the theatre wasn't as packed as I am used to, and therefore people felt self conscious. When encouraged to clap along, I was one of only a few who did so. Nevertheless, the cast didn't let this negatively affect their performance, and seemed to come back after the interval bursting with even more energy and adrenaline. While the first half had already been wonderful, they brought even more to their performances. The kicks were even higher, the scenes were doubly passionate, and their dedication paid off. By the finale the theatre was on its feet, dancing, singing, and clapping along to the classic 80s' soundtrack. 

I cannot commend the cast enough for facing the challenge and picking the performance up. I already respected their work, but their attitude further proved their passion and highlighted how professional they are. Flashdance certainly ended on a high, and I couldn't have asked for a better show to brighten up a dark night.

*I received tickets from Winter Gardens Blackpool, where the show is running until 04 November 2017, in exchange for an honest review. For more details, see my disclaimer.



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