FLASHDANCE – REVIEW New Wimbledon Theatre

FLASHDANCE AT THE NEW WIMBLEDON THEATRE

Joanne Clifton stars as Alex Owens alongside the evercool Ben Adams in this stage production of Flashdance!

What a Feeling! Take your passion and make it happen and go to see this High Energy, Passionate show!

 

We at The Live Review were invited along to the press night of Flashdance Uk Tour at the New Wimbledon Theatre, and we are glad we were there!

You will know the hits in this show.. ‘Gloria’ , ‘Flashdance- What a feeling’, ‘Maniac’, ‘I love rock and roll’ and most will have seen the film!

The Headline names on the billboard if you didn’t know already are Ben Adams OF A1 Fame, Big Brother contestant, Solo Artist, Songwriter and actor. Alongside Ben is Joanne Clifton who gave up pro dancing in 2013 after a successful career and later joined her brother in the Burn the floor dance company briefly, then as most will know a professional dancer in Strictly Come Dancing in 2014.

Joanne is known to many as a dancer on Strictly Come Dancing. Many may not know that Joanne has in fact treaded the boards previously! In 2015 she played a street walker in Face the Music, 2016 brought her a role in Norma Jean the Musical as the title role Marilyn Monroe and then earlier this year Jo played Millie Dillmount in the UK tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Joanne starred in this production that has been running since the end of July. We all know Joanne can dance, and having never seen her before outside of the Strictly arena was looking forward to see how she converted to the stage and acting. Well 5 minutes in and I was blown away! Not by the acting, I hadn’t seen enough of that yet but Joanne Cliftons’ Voice!!! In the words of Craig Revel Harwood… A-MAZ-ING DARLING. I was taken.

Joanne is a bundle of joy to watch, the smile on her face whilst performing you can see she clearly enjoys this role. Every song and dance you can see her emotion, the energy that shone out, the audience felt it, the passion oozed out. Her sweet innocence was endearing at times and she had the look of a good girl with cheeky side. Upon seeing Jo there was no better choice to play Alex Owens and thankfully Joanne has agreed to continue the tour next year after a short break. Joanne is a natural actor too, and appears to love the stage also. Highlights were Joannes recreation of her in a chair doused in water to end the first interval and the duet with Ben ‘A million to one’

Ben Adams who again we mostly know from the band A1 is now a very successful song writer and has worked with some of the biggest names in the business and even reached the final of Norways version of Strictly Come Dancing! Ben also wrote a brand new musical that showed at The London Palladium called ‘Eugenius’ which also returns next year. Due to release his first solo album in 2018 Ben is on show until the end of December in this tour.

Ben was a great accomplice to Joanne playing a great Nick Hurley. The privileged relative of the board. Dare I say it suited the look perfectly. Bens performance was a pleasure to watch and obvious vocal talent that made him a success in A1, he sang with class. Ben too looked like he truly is enjoying the role and again had a smile on throughout bursting with energy. The chemistry between Ben and Jo is real and they obviously get on really well and makes it very believable when they become a couple in the show, an a very good looking pair at that!

Colin Kiyani kept us entertained as the would be comic cracked jokes in vein never gave up trying to be funny. Why was he such a good comedian.’The Timing’ he would tell us, but it came about this was the best reason for being a boyfriend to Gloria played by Hollie Ann Lowe.

Joannes fellow dancers were fantastic. Sia Dauda has a voice and a half, Demmileigh Foster performance of ‘I love rock and roll’ was both tantalising and teasing, and Hollie Ann-Lowes performance as Gloria the girl that wanted the best for herself, to make it big moving from the safehaven of her club to move to become a Chamelon girl and all that entailed all deserve a mention.

Carol Ball however eased her way into our hearts with her portrayal of Hannah, and again the relationship between herself and Jo was a pleasure to watch and I had shed genuine emotion when she passed (in the show of course).

This show is full of energy, and dance and by the end the audience were stood up clapping along. All the Cast were fantastic. It runs at New Wimbledon Theatre until 7th October and the tour continues until 21 July 2018. We defiantely recommend you get a ticket for the show. You would be a Maniac not to see it!

So you say you haven’t seen Flashdance before? Here’s the story!

Alex Owens is a girl working in a Pittsburgh steel mill by day and a dance club by night and has a dream to attend the Shipley Dance Academy. Encouraged to apply by her friend Gloria she does. At work a new boss hits the work floor Nick Hurley, posh and privileged with the family name who run this mill takes a liking to Alex. Attending the club she works at he asks her out but is rebuffed as she has concerns about working for her boss. Invited for an audition to Shipley Alex is nervous but has a shoulder to lean on in Hannah a retired dancer who motivates Alex to go for it, she attends the preliminary audition, taken back by the quality of the other dancers, Alex leaves unsure if she will get through.

The next day back in the work break room Nick again tries to invite Alex for a drink again to get rebuffed and gets a ribbing from fellow apprentices. Then the bad news – his family send him a list of cuts that need to happen. Torn by the bonds he has made wit the employees and decision he has to make he decides to stand up for them and fight the decision – however is left to come up with an alterative.

Back at the dance club called ‘Harrys Bar’ business is poor due to the opening of The Chameleon Club down the street, one of the dancers Gloria is hit on by the Chameleon clubs owner who pays a visit and eventually persuade her to join his seedy club. But Nick happens to turn up and warn him off. Impressed by this Alex agrees to go out with him and from here they fall in love.

A few weeks later the letter from Shipley arrives, worried about opening it she goes to see Hannah again who does just that to the news that Alex has indeed got a call back. We also see Nick visit Shipley and make generous contribution thanking her for the call back. Nick has used his influence to get Alex an audition.

Nick goes onto encourage Alex to forget about the generalist ballet moves that many will bring and to do what she does best and that is to feel the music.

Gloria getting ever more dependant on drugs and alcohol whilst working at the new club, soon realises she is in too deep. Her ex boyfriend returns from New York having failed as a comedian and manages to get a job and a place to stay back with his Uncle owner of Harrys Bar.

Nick fails to convince the board that he can save his colleagues and upon learning many of her friends will be laid off Alex argues with Nick, where he admits that he arranged the call back. Furious by this Alex leavehim. Nick is left to question his place in the company also.

Back at Harrys, Alex discovers along with Jimmy that Gloria is working at the Chameleon Club and so rush across to take her away from the mess she had embroiled herself in. Challenged as they take her away Jimmy hits the owner to the floor and they leave.

After all that has happened Alex decides to leave town and go home, but when she discovers her old friend Hannah has passed away, and in turn left her a financial contribution to her dance tuition she decides to go for it. Upon arriving late for the audition she persuades the judges to see her an then proceeds to blow them away and gain a place in the prestigious academy.