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Flashdance in The West End

Last night I went to the stage production of the West End musical, Flashdance. Now, I am not a fan of musicals – cheesy and full of cringe worthy moments between the love interest and the ‘hunk’ within the show, but for once I was pleasantly surprised. What surprised me the most was the urban twist that the dancers in the show gave for the audience. Flashdance the film was one that I was never really keen on. I found it boring, predictable and thought the storyline was dragged out to far for the 90 minute film. Last night, sitting second row from the front i got a glimpse into the world of a dancers life. Surprisingly, ex Busted member Matt Willis was cast as the lead of Nick Hurley, the ruthless steel works boss, who became the interest of 21 year old dancer Alex Owens. Victoria Hamillton – Barritt was an exceptional member of the cast, incredible stage presence and the perfect choice to play the independent and seductive Alex. In the 1986 film, i found Alex to be an annoying teenager who wined and moaned way to much, and attention seeker if you wish. Alex in the musical, I was in awe. She made the stage her own, especially with the infamous chair scene where she was sprayed with water while dancing in the club. The set design was beautiful, with the steel workers attacking metal with live sparklers, eerie smoke and dirty overalls to accompany the workmanship of the employees. The club scenes were transformed into seedy Columbian den’s with sneering cocaine dealers and strippers who offered little to the imagination. Each dancer was able to show the audience what they were made of, with solo’s to remixes of the 80’s inspired tracks with back flips, break dancing and ballet. The costumes were revealing yet tasteful and the twist on the plot, with Alex’s mother being shot while a robbery took place worked. The cocaine addiction from Junior, Alex’s old school friend and her best pal Gina, was a tremendous performance. Sitting second row I could see vocals being stretched, but the sound was amazing.

Overall Flashdance was an intriguing show where you could not take your eyes off the performers. I would love to go and see the musical again. The Shaftesbury Theatre was intimate and small yet the stage production was far from small. The dancers owned the stage and gave faith in musicals in my eyes. No cringe moments, urban twists on routines and beautiful stage production. Amazing.


Anonymous said...

I agree!
I LOVED watching the performances, and thought it had just the right amount of cheese to make it a BLAST.

Betheny said...

I loved it!