Reviewed by Katy Nettleton
A 40-year-old classic, still going strong and bringing the audience up on their feet. A truly spectacular performance both in terms of staging, dancing and singing with outstanding acts and scenes bringing Nottingham’s audience dance and sing along, with allot of “whoops” coming from the audience.
It’s 1976 Brooklyn, New York Tony Manero is struggling in a dead-end shop job who found his passion for dancing (mirroring the story of Billy Elliott). His father was unemployed with a traditional outlook, who found every opportunity to pull Tony down, reduce his confidence and ambition. However, secretly his mum was routing for him, encouraging him to keep up his dancing and fulfil his potential. This is when he meets Stephanie, a girl that he is mesmerised by, one that he cannot wait to dance with, to show off his skills and hopefully capture her heart. However, on his journey there are a number of obstacles that come in his way, but together Stephanie and Tony compete in a dance competition. However, the result is not what Tony has wanted and we saw the vulnerable and honest side of Tony one that made the audience feel for him. Tony’s lie had changed forever. Tony’s singing, dancing and acting were purely brilliant and made you feel for him, as well as laugh at him and his guy pals!
There was not one still leg in the audience; it was full of ladies and gentlemen of all ages dancing along either in their seats of stood up and enjoying the performance and atmosphere. I did feel that a couple of the “dance scenes” also resembled elements of Dirty Dancing acts, which I loved!
The way in which the large cast of dancers moved on stage in a refined area was brilliant and made you want to see each dancer and their moves, which only added to my misery of my lack of timing and rhythm dancing! Although, I did feel a couple of the jokes were a little dated and not really appropriate and not needed. I understand humour is often close to the “line”, however I felt that one of the off-the-cuff jokes went particularly too far, and from not all of the audience’s participation in the laughter I do not feel that I am in the minority.
The staging was well thought out and very effective with ease of movement between scenes. There were a couple of scenes which maybe wasn’t needed; however, these were short do did not distract too much from the performance. The lighting brought the “bridge alive” as did the disco, and you felt you were back in to the 1970’s discos with awesome music. The energised dancing cannot outshine the brilliant singing by all, but specifically the singing by Stephanie, which was just spellbinding, and I was unable to take my eyes off her when she was singing her solo performance.
Overall, I would recommend this show to all, for anyone wanting a light-hearted evening out where they can laugh, they can sing, they can dance and enjoy music with the Bee Gees. It’s a show for all the ages, for guys and girls and one not to miss.
Tickets cost from £19 to £41 (booking fees may apply).
Saturday Night Fever is at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham from 3-7 September 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.trch.co.uk or call the box office on 0115 989 5555.
Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Theatre Square, Nottingham, NG1 5ND