Saturday Night Fever Review

Grand Theatre, Leeds – Saturday 31 August 2019

Reviewed By Dawn Smallwood


Saturday Night Fever returns with a new Bill Kenwright Production which is based on the well known 1977 film starring John Travolta. Featuring the lyrics and music of the Bee Gees, Saturday Night Fever is adapted collaboratively on stage by Robert Stigwood and Bill Oakes. The stage musical has made its debut in the West End in 1998 and since then has toured nationally and internationally.

Set to Bee Gees infamous musical numbers, Saturday Night Fever tells the story of Tony Manero who seeks dancing as escapism from the stereotypical and tough realities of the working class life in Brooklyn. Tony goes on a rollercoaster journey of self-discovery with dance which projects thoughts and feelings linking into the story telling. The story is creatively re-imagined in a music and dance fiesta and is spectacularly done from the very beginning to the very end.

Audience engagement immediately begins from the start with the introduction of the many well known Bee Gee hits, under the arrangement of Scott Alder, including Stayin’ Alive, Night Fever, Jive Talkin’ and the set backing Tragedy and the calling You Should Be Dancing. The music fits so well in the story and emotively connects with the realities of Tony’s life and those in the community.

Richard Winsor, a reputed dancer and actor, exclusively projects the portrayal of Tony so well with his intricate, slick and polished dancing and movements. Winsor is supported inclusively by an excellent and energetic cast of very talented performers and dancers. The dancing is timely synchronised to the music and under the superb choreography amid the bright, flashing, colourful and innovative staging and lighting, courtesy of the creative team of Gary McCann, Nick Richings and Dan Samson. The songs are harmoniously sung in the spirit of the legendary band by Jake Byrom, James Kenneth Haughton and Danny Knott who form the Bee Gees.

This unmissable production is excellently well put together with show stopping choreography. It celebrates the era of the discotheque and dancing which expresses hope and solace to many who dream and pursue different things from their existing predicaments. Dancing isn’t exclusive and Tony demonstrates this as an inclusive opportunity for one to support their self discovery journey and daring to be different. This production inspires and finishes on a high with a finale medley of some of the well known Bee Gees’ hits which feverously draws audience to its feet. It is a night out to remember with plans being made to see the musical again either on stage or on screen.