Tuesday, 20 February 2018

REVIEW: Flashdance at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Adapted from the screenplay of the surprise 80s hit film, Flashdance stars Strictly Come Dancing star Joanne Clifton and former A1 member Ben Adams as her love interest Nick. The films influence on popular culture in the early 80s was clear to see and won numerous accolades and made stars for the MTV generation.

Pity that the phenomenon doesn’t extend to this woeful stage version which doesn’t so much leap and bound into the New Victoria Theatre, but rather stumble clumsily into it, held together only by a strong performance by Joanne Clifton.

Clifton is an excellent Alex, in a much improved outing from her previous UK tour as the lead in Thoroughly Modern Millie. She seems at ease in the role of confident, sharp-witted Alex who dreams of being a ballet dancer and showcases her dancing skills and strong singing voice. Sadly she is the only one who dazzles in this production.

Ben Adams shows he has a voice that can hold his own in this large auditorium especially in songs like Here and Now (a duet with Clifton) but his acting is flat and two dimensional, not helped by a weak script and uninspired direction.

Most disappointing was the choreography by Matt Cole which was, at best, random, messy and poorly executed by a seemingly tired and sluggish ensemble. The opening number was easily one of the worst I’ve seen in musical theatre and set the tone for a thoroughly limp first half.

The set design was bold and made good use of different levels and scenery pieces which were easily moved around. The story was non-existent and had little in the way of character development which didn’t help the cast attempt to inject life into this show. 

For diehard fans of the film, this may be have been adequate but for anyone else this production lacked humour, narrative and enough singalong numbers to entertain for two hours. 

Review by Andy Edmeads 

Rating: ★
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