REVIEW: FLASHDANCE (New Victoria Theatre) ★★★★

Being a child of the 70’s, I fondly remember listening to the Soundtrack of Flashdance on my cassette recorder and then queuing up at my local cinema to watch Jennifer Beales strut her stuff in a leotard and leg warmers.

For those of you too young to remember the 1983 film Flashdance, it tells the story of female welder Alex Owens as she works by day at the male dominated Hurley Steelworks and by night dreams of a life dancing and performing.

Joanne Clifton (of Strictly fame) recently attracted praise for her stage performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie and boy were the critics right in their praise for her. From start to finish, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her and can this girl hold a tune! Her performance alone deserves a 5 star rating for the sheer magnetism and electrifying power she brings to the role.

Ben Adams (A1) plays love interest Nick Hurley and he provides a performance which is pleasant enough and the duets between the pair are beautifully sung (even though at times I did feel the chemistry between them lacked).

This really is the Joanne Clifton show, but to its credit this stage version had a soft centre at its core and also focusses on some of the other characters, including Alex’s nightclub co-stars and best friend Gloria played beautifully by Hollie-Ann Lowe. Overall the entire cast showed impressive dance capabilities coupled with phenomenal choreography.

At the finale the audience leapt to their feet and cheered, jumped and stamped their feet in appreciation. An evening of great fun and a great antidote to a cold and grey February evening.

Reviewed by Neil Mcfarlane


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