Hands down, the dancers (and the finale) made the show.
The dancers involved in the show, and first and foremost Joanne Clifton (Alex Owens), were fantastic.
It isn’t easy to live up to the hype of classic such as Fashdance, and sadly it became obvious in the show there is just not quite enough to work with to make it a stage production.
In case you need a quick introduction into the show, here it is: Dancer (and steel worker) dreams of getting into the Shipley Dance Academy despite only having experience from dancing in a bar. And then there is her handsome new boss at the steel mill, Nick Hurley.
While the dancing was brilliant and the well-known songs such as What a Feeling, Maniac, and I Love Rock and Roll got the audience tapping their toes and lipsyncing (or was that just me?), the build-up to these scenes were a little weak and the characters lacked some depth, which was a shame, because the original duet between Nicky (Ben Adams) and Alex, Here And Now, was beautifully sung, but I didn’t feel the connection with the characters yet. While Harry’s, the bar Alex works at, offered some great dancing, the storyline around them struggling to compete with the new bar in town seemed to distract from getting to know Alex and her dreams and determination.
I only really connected with her towards the end, when she finds out her mentor Hannah (Carol Ball) passed away shortly before Shipley audition.
That said, if you are going for the dancing (it is called Flashdance, after all) then that’s what you will get. And the finale is the highlight of the show, when away from any storyline, they show off their skills in a brilliant medley which got everyone on their feet and dancing. Look out for Sasha Latoya who plays Hannah’s nurse. When she gets the microphone, you are in for a treat!
Flashdance runs at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday June 30. Tickets are available here.