Flashdance comes to Oxford

FlashdanceAs we march in October, things are beginning to get pretty busy – first W-Day is now only 72 days away, plus there is the small matter of our next trip to West Indies for the best part of this month.

However, despite that Tom and I have still had time to pop to the theatre and last week we saw Joanne Clifton (of Strictly fame) in Flashdance at the New Theatre in Oxford.  It was everything you’d hope for – gloriously 80s.

As any child of the 80s will remind you (Tom and I both just creep into that bracket), Flashdance joins Footloose, Fame and Dirty Dancing to make up classic dancing quintet and I believe, has one of the best soundtracks. (It did sell 700,000 copies in just 2 weeks after it was released)  Think ‘Maniac’, ‘Manhunt’, ‘Gloria’, ‘I Love Rock & Roll’ and the award-winning title track ‘Flashdance – What a Feeling’.

This is the story of flashdancing welder, Alex Owens, (standard musical affair). 18 year old Alex dreams of going to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy and becoming a professional dancer.  Cue much dancing snobbishness and some excellent routines in legwarmers.

Joanne Clifton, is both World and European Champion ballroom dancer and 2016 Strictly champ with Ore Oduba,  and I foolishly just wasn’t expecting her to sing. (I’m sorry about that Joanne, should never have doubted you.) Joanne has some of the best vocals of the show. I wish I’d seen her as Millie Dillmount in the UK Tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Ben Adams plays Joanne’s love interest and boss, Nick Hurley. Ben’s had an interesting career singing for the pope as head chorister at Westminster Abbey and as lead singer of Norwegian group, A1. He also has strictly background – reaching the finals of the Norwegian show!

The pair headed up a great cast and for me the stand out numbers were Holly Ann Lowe’s (who played fellow flashdancer, Gloria) ‘Gloria’ and ‘Manhunt’ belted out by Sia Dauda playing Kiki.  The ensemble numbers definitely made use of all of Joanne’s skill on the ballroom front and I definitely spotted a bit of paso in their, which I’m sure is a new addition since the film was released in ‘82.

The only small bug bear would be that I felt that Joanne’s Maniac – you know that bit where she pulls the water over the chair – felt slightly skimped on, a tad underwhelming. The routine was broken in half, with a reprise before the interval.  It was lovely to get it twice, but I’d rather see Joanne strut her stuff in one go – but that’s just me and I’m no choreographer.

You can catch Flashdance on tour in our area in Alyesbury, Birmingham, High Wycombe, Cheltenham, Bristol and Milton Keynes right through between now and July 2018.   Get tickets here: http://tidd.ly/ba305f35

 

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