Bristol Hippodrome – until 30th June 2018
Reviewed by Lucy Hitchcock
What a feeling? What a Finale!
The 1983 film has been transformed into a dynamic stage show that will leave you wanting to dance.
The show opens with a simple set, but is frequently changed and created into different scenes and parts of the life of Alex, our main role. She is a welder, who desperately wants to dance and so we embark upon her journey of fulfilling her dream.
Joanne Clifton bring Alex to life, with warmth and integrity. There is no doubting that her dancing is impeccable and she truly showcased her talents in this area. Her dancing was solid and she carried the role of Alex very well. There was a certain ‘Calamity Jane’ feel about her portrayal of Alex; She was very independent and strong. With a few major solos throughout the show, Joanne did very well as holding her character even when the notes where clearly out of range. Her voice is strong, but did not fit the Musical Theatre genre as well as it does a pop voice. However, Joanne’s dancing was a real showstopper.
Ben Adams portrayed Nick Hurley, the villainous boss whom we grow to love. Ben was also solid throughout the production, showing some beautiful chemistry with Joanne. Both characters worked brilliantly together and conveyed a true love onstage. The harmonies during ‘Here and Now’ filled the auditorium with passion and energy that lingered until the very end. Ben had a ‘Danny Zucko’ vibe about him, he was confident and loving with a hint of rebellion.
The ensemble carried the show amazingly through the brilliant choreography of Matt Cole. Most of the routines were perfectly synchronised however, there were a few sections that were slightly out of time. Regardless of this, the dancing was fluid and smooth and was the real head turner of the production.
The costume and music was relevant to the time period and worked to create a feel good show!
Despite the minor criticisms I found, this was an upbeat show and will leave you smiling. The finale has definitely got the wow factor, with high speed and intense dance consisting of the whole ensemble, songs that are known by all ages and lights to dazzle and excite you!