Venue: Sunderland Empire
Date: Wednesday 13th September 2017
I haven’t actually seen the film version of Flashdance so other than knowing about the water scene and that she was a welder thanks to The Full Monty I didn’t have any idea about the story. Although thinking to the show it didn’t really have a massive story that you then had to follow. That isn’t really a big issue in all honesty, the big issue is that it all revolves around one song, ‘What a Feeling’ which everyone knows. For a stage show to work you need a lot more than just one song, especially when it wasn’t really done in a show stooping way.
By the interval I wasn’t really a big fan of what I had just watched, it felt like the music was too loud and they were just shouting to compete. Luckily that felt a lot better in the second act. Still not enough for me to totally love it or even like it to be brutally honest. This was a very last-minute trip and getting an incredible seat in the stalls for £15, it was rather sad to see the Theatre pretty much empty but it just shows that they really don’t do a lot to publicise the smaller touring shows. It does get better as it goes on, but not really what you are expecting from a musical, it has the whole jukebox musical feel with the songs and obviously stemmed from a film.
Performance wise Joanna Clifton certainly had the chance to show off that she really is a fantastic dancer, not that was ever really in any doubt. The Strictly Come Dancing champion (not that I watch it) but surely she has to be very good. This was probably the perfect show to be able to show off her skills, just a shame it wasn’t on a higher level. Her voice was decent, not fantastic but she certainly grows into the show as it goes on.
Ben Adams of former boy band fame in A1, if you cannot remember them I am assuming you are extremely young and that makes me feel very old. He had a few solo numbers and does have a very nice and pleasant voice but didn’t really command and own the stage. Colin Kiyani on the other hand was a truly fantastic performer and certainly the stand out talent wise in my opinion! He really was brilliant in his solo number and felt alive up on the stage.
I mean it was probably difficult as the crowd was rather low and not much back from them but I guess it isn’t the most popular film let alone show. However, at the end everyone was up dancing after a little shout from Ben Adams. I think it just really highlights that some shows based on films work, and sadly like this one some of them just don’t. It hasn’t really made me want to see the film, I am curious if people who have seen the film then like the show!
Flashdance has just started the tour and can be seen around the UK up until July 2018, casting is going to change for the 2018 dates, view the schedule here.