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Flashdance @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Published by: Yvonne Delahaye on 21st Nov 2017 | View all blogs by Yvonne Delahaye

Click for more details and to book Flashdance tickets at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

It’s interesting to see how things have changed since 1980 when the film Fame (which spawned the popular TV show set in a performing arts academy), showed aspiring actors/dancers/singers that to succeed you’d have to go to an academy to train. Nowadays today’s reality TV talent shows offer people a fast route to fame and fortune without necessarily having the training to support them.

Following on from the success of Fame, came the 1983 American romantic drama film Flashdance directed by Adrian Lyne.  Although it opened to negative reviews from the professional critics, it became a surprise box office success, becoming the third highest-grossing film that year in the US. Worldwide it grossed more than $100 million and its soundtrack created hit songs, including the Academy Award winning song ‘Flashdance – What a Feeling’ sung by Irene Cara.

The story is a familiar one of how someone can triumph over adversity, despite the obstacles thrown in the way.  Alex Owens (Joanne Clifton) is a factory welder, who dances at a cabaret club in the evening, but dreams of becoming a professional dancer and aspires to win a place at the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy.  Along the way she falls in love with factory boss Nick Hurley (Ben Adams), but the course of true love never did run smoothly and with friends whose dreams of stardom also turn sour, will they all find what they’re searching for?

The opening number in a show really needs to grab your attention and set the scene, but this one didn’t do it for me.  The band seemed to be drowning out the vocals throughout the show and the tune and lyrics to the opening number failed to set the stage alight.   There are some great tracks in the show though, which were hits in their own right, ‘Maniac’, ‘Gloria’, ‘I Love Rock and Roll’ and the title track ‘Flashdance...What a Feeling’, which also won the Golden Globe as well as the Oscar for best original song.

The 80s was the time of big hair, Jane Fonda work-out videos, lycra and leg warmers and the show captures all of these.  For a show about dance though, I felt the dancers were a bit short-changed as there was potential for using more of the stage space on different levels with more acrobatic moves.  It was a shame we didn’t see enough of their talents until the encore.  Some of the routines before were so frenetic to the fast beats of the music, there wasn’t time to appreciate them.        

Strictly Come Dancing’s Joanne Clifton works incredibly hard throughout the show and by the end you almost feel you’ve been watching an aerobics workout. A1 pop singer Ben Adams has a lovely voice and the chemistry worked really well between them.

The show runs at The Waterside, Aylesbury until Saturday 25th November.  For further dates, visit: http://www.flashdanceuktour.co.uk/tour-schedule

 

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

@yvonnedelahaye

 

20/11/17

Comments

3 Comments

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 1 month ago
    Thanks, Yvonne. You give an interesting perspective on this review.
  • nathan dwyer
    by nathan dwyer 1 month ago
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  • Yvonne Delahaye
    by Yvonne Delahaye 1 month ago
    Thanks Cameron and Nathan for your positive comments. It's good to know that you appreciate my reviews and I do try and be objective and informative, painting a bigger picture, rather than focusing in on small details. It is all subjective and what appeals to one person may not to another, so I try and step back and look at the shows from a different perspective. Best regards. Yvonne
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