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Theatre Review: Flashdance - The Musical @ The Orchard Theatre

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Flashdance is one of the most successful movies of the 1980’s and has been remastered for this stage production. The musical is an amalgamation of neon lights, complex choreography, and passion, creating a perfectly rendered 80s aesthetic. 

Sticking closely to the format of the Paramount film by Tom Hedley, the American story follows 18-year-old Alex Owens, a welder by day and ‘flashdancer’ by night, who dreams of going to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy. However, a complicated romance with Nick Hurley hinders her ambitions. 

Dramatised by astonishing dancing, singing, and acting, the production captures an unusual atmosphere of gritty urbanity cleverly washed with glamour. The opening scenes snap straight into the action and immediately hit you with an impressive range of songs. 

Strictly Come Dancing’s Joanne Clifton plays Alex - and her talents are endless. Visually striking, with remarkable dance moves and delightful vocals, she executes the role brilliantly. Her rendition of "What A Feeling" is especially striking. 

Pop star Ben Adams plays the handsome Nick Hurley with gratifying charm, a cool American accent, and sharp vocals. The harmonic duets between Adams and Clifton are beautifully melodious.

Made from a duo of platforms and stairs, the versatility of the set switches-up the locations, keeping the audience on their toes. A live band is also hidden behind the set.

Flashdance – The Musical is a dramatic and passionate production. Although more skeptical theatergoers might be put off by its schmaltzy romance, its bold dancing, dazzling costumes, and impressive cast will no doubt win over even the most cynical audience members. 

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