Sophie Arthur

Flashdance at the Empire Theatre: A Review

Flashdance tells the story of 18 year old Alex (Strictly Come Dancing’s Joanne Clifton), a welder during the day and ‘flashdancer’ at night, but dreaming of one day attending the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy to become a professional dancer. When a romance with the charming Nick Hurley (Ben Adams) develops, she utilises it to motivate her ambitions and work for her dream. Based on  the Paramount Pictures film of 1983 starring Jennifer Grey, Flashdance – the Musical is a refreshing take on love, friendship and life that, despite being set in the 80s culture, fits perfectly into modern life.

The friendship between Kiki, Tess, Gloria and Alex resembles exactly how we all our with our very best friends and shows the most important parts of friendship. Flashdance also explores the importance of one person’s faith in you. It also reminds the audience to take every opportunity and work hard for it. The characters all have their own ways of doing this whether it be Jimmy moving to New York for a month or Alex taking her audition. Alex isn’t willing to be given help to get her to where she wants to be, but would rather work hard and fight for it her own way. Alex’s independence is such a refreshing thing to see today as she doesn’t opt for a man who has money, nor does she expect to be handed the opportunity on a plate, which makes you all the more proud of her by the end.

The bond between Clifton and Adams’ characters is clear to see and both give an incredible acting performance supported by the rest of the cast. Joanne Clifton is a the epitome of a triple threat with her pure and honest vocals, her incredible characterisation of Alex Owens, her chemistry with not only Ben Adams, but the rest of the cast, most notable Carol Ball’s character Hannah and Hollie-Ann Lowe’s Gloria. Her dancing, as always, was beyond perfect with every foot being the exact place you can see the raw talent of a dancer. Ben Adams’ American accent is impeccable and his vocals are so powerful filling the whole of the Empire Theatre to every corner. Their duets are beautiful and strong without either one overshadowing the other, but working together to create the harmonies the audience loves to hear.

Special mentions must go to Carol Ball for her performance as Hannah, the elderly friend full of wisdom, positivity and life, someone we wish we’ll all be when we reach that age, and also to Hollie-Ann Lowe for her equally impressive vocals and honest performance as Gloria.

One of the most important things Flashdance communicates with the audience is the power of hope. It reminds you to laugh through life no matter how bad the jokes or how bad the situation. The musical numbers, written by Robbie Roth and Robert Cary, ‘A Million to One’ and ‘It’s All In Reach’ show this perfectly, teaching the audience that ‘It’s better if you leap and fall, than to never leap at all’.

The final number got the whole audience up and dancing. It was the perfect ending and you can be certain that, you’ll be up on your feet, no matter if you’re 18 or 80!

Check out the Flashdance UK tour site here: or book tickets here:

Flashdance the Musical is in Liverpool from 16th – 21st October, but is touring round the UK until August 2018 so make sure you get your tickets because (spoiler alert) you’ll love it!

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