Reviewed by Angela Paull
Last night (6 September 2017) we went to see Flashdance at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. The Mayflower is centrally located and surrounded by plenty of car parks, I tend to use Grosvenor Place as it has a flat rate of £2 after 6pm. The theatre itself has a restaurant, bars, snack kiosk – everything you need for a good night out.
The show is based upon the iconic 1983 movie of the same name and stars Joanne Clifton in the lead role of Alex Owens. Alex works as a welder during the day and dancer in the evenings. Her dream though is to study at a prestigious dance school. She catches the eye of her boss at work and what essentially follows is the age-old story of a romance between two people from different sides of the tracks. At the same time, we’re watching a group of people striving to achieve their dreams.
This isn’t just the tale of Alex and her boss Nick Hurley – much as Joanne Clifton and Ben Adams shine in the lead roles – we also follow the dreams of her fellow club dancers and the club’s wannabe comedian. Their livelihoods are threatened by rival club CC’s and their rather more “exotic” breed of dancers. CC is played with the right amount of sleaze by Matt Concannon, resplendent in a very fitting snake skin coat.
He leads Alex’s best friend Gloria into a spiral of alcoholism, drugs and depression after promising the moon and offering nothing but the gutter. Meanwhile her boyfriend Jimmy returns despondent from New York where he has failed to achieve his comedic dreams.
There are some pretty dark moments in the tale but thankfully these are alleviated by some feel good tunes, neon lit dance routines and a real feeling of 80’s nostalgia.
The dancing is energetic and it was great to see a spot of classic Paso Doble thrown in, as befits the current reigning champ of Strictly! The performance culminates in Alex’s audition performance for the dance school – given how iconic this scene is in the film I thought it a shame that Ms Clifton’s solo performance didn’t last a little longer but the addition of the supporting cast certainly added a whole heap of extra energy and colour.
There were a few sound issues at times but overall this was a good stage adaptation of the movie and the crowd was up on their feet enjoying the Sing-a-long finale. The show begins and ends with the classic tune “What A Feeling” and you will leave the show feeling uplifted and feeling good!
I rate this as a solid 4 out of 5.
Tickets cost from £22.50 to £42.50 (booking fees may apply).
Flashdance is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton from 6-9 September 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.mayflower.org.uk or call the box office on 02380 711811.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811