A brand new production of Flashdance has just opened and Is set to tour the country over the next year. Ceri Boyd (@Ceriiix) attended Flashdance’s Press Night for MTAS and the King’s Theatre in Glasgow.
Alex Owens is an 18 year old apprentice welder by day, and moonlights as an exotic dancer in nightclub ‘Harry’s’. ‘Flashdance’, based on the 1980’s classic movie, tells the story of how she dreams of going to the renowned Shipley Academy dance school – even although she has never had any formal training.
This production has an absolutely stellar cast. Joanne Clifton shines as Alex – she is well known for her Strictly dancing skills but she proves she is a real triple threat by having the voice and acting abilities to match. Ben Adams is Nick, Alex’s boss and love interest, who has perfected an American accent and hits all the high notes, although I’m not convinced he entirely shook off his pop background. The supporting cast were outstanding in ensemble numbers, a highlight being Demmileigh Foster as Tess who gave a rousing rendition of ‘I Love Rock and Roll’, complete with stunning dance routine. Another standout was Sasha Latoya as Louise, unfortunately this role didn’t showcase her singing voice but she got to display her excellent comedic timing.
The plot of Flashdance does wear a little thin at times – there are a few subplots for minor characters (such as Gloria getting a job at a rival, seedier nightclub..) but these don’t ever feel fully explored. There are some fabulous numbers throughout the show where the ensemble shine, but there are a few more forgettable songs and reprises that seem a bit ‘filler’. The set was basic but utilised videography and lighting well, and effectively conveyed the steelwork and nightclubs.
The major selling point of this show is the second to none choreography (by Matt Cole) which managed to bring in both nostalgic and contemporary vibes; the highlight being the iconic ‘water chair dance’ scene which brought the house down at the King’s Theatre!
Overall this was a fabulous show that had the audience on their feet giving thunderous applause. Joanne Clifton was born to be on stage with the role of Alex seemingly made for her, supported by an all round fabulous cast. A must see if it’s in a theatre near you – look out your leg warmers.