What a feeling!
Unless you lived under a rock throughout the 80’s you will know and love the Flashdance movie or at least the theme song from Irene Cara “what a feeling”. Admit it you have all danced around your kitchens pretending you were in the lead role dawning those 80’s tastic legwarmers and snug lycra outfit lol
So what’s the Musical all about you ask? Well i’ll break it down, the story centres around Alex a girl whose dream is to dance though due to her background and lack of opportunity dance school was never on the cards, OR IS IT! There are more than a few movies that follow this well worn path, but Flashdance led the way and the surprise hit of the 80’s formed an unforgettable moment in the lives of so many.
As musicals go, this is a dance spectacular with a tonne of great tunes both original pieces and a mix of great loved songs from the 80’s.
The lead role, of Alex Owens (welder by day, club dancer by night) is filled by Joanne Clifton, your thinking how do I recognise her name, well she is BBC Strictly come dancing royalty, having won both the Christmas special and the Main series with Ore Oduba. She is the perfect fit for this role and boy do I mean fit, crikey, can this girl dance she oozed stamina, I was tired watching though in complete awe.
She displayed such intensity and completely lost herself in dance. She also has a good set of pipes on her too which really surprised me, prior to watching I assumed the role would clearly focus on dance and acting though there is a serious amount of singing involved which Joanne tackled head on and triumphed I may add.
She’s not so much a triple threat, who looks great and comes across a natural on stage, can see her take on many more roles in the future.
The eye candy in the show was none other than Ben Adam’s best known from singing lead in 90’s boy band a1, think back he was the one who rocked the curtains, don’t knock them they were a staple part of the 90’s, even had them myself lol.
In the musical his character was the steel mill owner’s son Nick. He can both sing and he can act oh and he also slipped in a few sneaky dance moves in the finale. In hindsight would of loved to see more of Nick and Alex on stage the moments they had together were lovely just wish there was more.
Carol balls character Hannah was Alex’s Icon, a former teacher who has paved the way and encouraged her pursuing her dreams. She was one of my favourites in the show with some great comedic one liners, great songs and more importantly a motherly role for Alex.
Others that need a mention are Holly-Ann Lowe she played Gloria a fellow club dancer of Alex who aspires for bigger and better things, opportunities do come her way though she soon realises that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, she ends up working as a stripper with a drug addiction, thankfully there is light at the end of the tunnel though you’ll need to watch to find out more.
There were 13 others in the cast all great dancers in their own right with most getting a chance to shine through various numbers and solos pieces.
Now onto the music, most memorable songs for me were Gloria, Manhunt, Maniac and I Love Rock n Roll, performed to perfection and had the audience on their feet singing along. And of course What a Feeling, performed by the full cast as Joanne performed the iconic routine.
I got a chance to meet Joanne and Ben prior to the show, they were both lovely.
If you are into 80’s cheese get those leg warmers on and head down to The Grand Opera House, there are 4 more shows before it closes on Saturday 25th August. Visit www.goh.co.uk/whats-on/flashdance-the-musical for tickets or call 028 9024 1919.