Pittsburgh factory worker and welder extraordinaire, Alex Owens, dreams of a better life, a life filled with dance.  Settling for a few nights dancing at Harry’s bar isn’t enough, and she plucks up the courage to apply to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy.  She’s also got a new love interest in the form of Nick Hurley, who happens to be the boss’s son.

There are a couple of side plots, like best friend Gloria being drawn into a seedy world of lap dancing and drugs while her comedian boyfriend, Jimmy, is failing to make it big in New York.

As Alex Owens, Joanne Clifton is outstanding. We knew she could dance, but she gave a fantastic vocal performance  Ben Adams as Nick Hurley, is equally outstanding, with pretty good dance moves.  Adams may be more used to  gigs with his bandmates, but he gives a real West End performance in Flashdance The Musical.

When Clifton and Adams sing together it’s excellent their duets of ‘Here and Now’ and ‘Hang On’ are sublime.

From the rest of the cast, Sasha Latoya as Louise, and Colin Kiyani as Jimmy,  stand out.  Of course, the ensemble dancers  take the limelight with some powerful routines.  Matt Cole’s choreography is tight throughout and is a definite highlight of the whole production. While there isn’t a weak link in the chain, special mention has to go to Demmileigh Foster for her dance performance during “I Love Rock and Roll” which was outstanding

Director Hannah Chissick has certainly captured the spirit of the movie, with an industrial style set that utilises steel and digital projections to bring the eighties to life.  Those famous scenes definitely take on a new lease of life when seen live. Flashdance The Musical takes all the best parts of a well loved movie and adds a little extra. With the  likes of “What A Feeling”, “Gloria” and “Maniac”  the show gains great energy.

Although there are darker themes throughout, this is ultimately a feel good musical. The finale is everything it should be and has the whole theatre on their feet.  Quite some feeling.

FLASHDANCE – THE MUSICAL is produced by Selladoor Productions and Runaway Entertainment.

Tickets are on sale and are available from the Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke  

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