Flashdance (UK tour)
Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol
Seen June 26th, 2018
Reviewed by Jade Prince
My advice: If you want a fun night out with your girlfriends, a couple of drink, see a show with good music and some well known songs, this is the show for you. However, if you are like me; see theatre on a regular basis, know what you are looking for and want to see a perfectly executed show…then…this isn’t for you. At all.
We all know the film Flashdance. Yes, Fame’s nearly forgotten sister.
I hate to say this however I can’t help but feel this product is straying towards this same path.
I can see it has potential but what it really lacks is commitment.
The standard was not there. Everything was messy. The choreography was the biggest let down. For a show with such a heavy bulk of dance involved, I was expecting so much more. Instead we go horrendous spacing on stage and 20 different energy levels. From the audience I could feel no connection between the cast on stage. This was even more prominent in the dance numbers that required partner work and group work. A few cast members were going all out! High kicks so high, precise and extended there might be a chance of a hip dislocation. Whereas others gave minimal effort or even found themselves several beats behind racing to catch up. Unfortunately, being off beat was a regular occurrence.
This isn’t me saying the choreography was bad. It was simply the delivery. I can’t fault Matt Cole’s work. Matt has definitely created high energy movement on stage…when executed well.
The staging was nice. I did enjoy the set and its movement through the different scenes. The two levels worked well. It really came into play when there were two different locations in the same scene. I just wish some of the actors remained in character when walking from upstage centre, having exited from the back stairs of the raised platform, to the wings. Some were evidently out of character and this whole walk section was exposed. Wait until you’re in the wings!
Performance-wise the show was rather bland. The script and delivery was mediocre. The vocals were good. Some stand out performers included Joanne Clifton (Alex Owens) and Emily Kenwright (on as cover Gloria for this particular performance). For the majority of the show I found myself focusing on Emily. She has a great stage presence. Although there was one scene where I did not want her to demand my focus but she still continued doing so. I didn’t want to focus on her not because of her performance but because of the costume. The opening number of act two had these lovely gold, shimmery halter neck dressed. The back is exposed therefore you either wear no bra, a strapless flesh colour bra or a regular flesh colour bra. These are forgivable. But not a regular white bra. Straps on show and everything. Glaring out into the audience like a little gremlin! I had to demonstrate some breathing exercises during this number. How did this get through costume?!
In short, I felt like I was watching a high school production. The vocals were the best part. This show could be something incredible with the right budget and time to nurture it further. It fell into the stereotype that touring shows are trying to shake; limited budget, time, resources which was very sad to see.
It’s meant to be a feel good show about chasing your dreams except this feeling was lost as it traveled off stage into the audience.
Flashdance is still touring the UK if you have a girls night out planned!
Information on the show, tour stops and tickets can be found at http://www.flashdanceuktour.co.uk