REVIEW: Flashdance The Musical, Opera House, Blackpool

Joanne Clifton as Alex Owens in Flashdance The Musical
Joanne Clifton as Alex Owens in Flashdance The Musical

As reigning queen of Strictly Come Dancing - and a former five-time Blackpool ballroom champion - there’s no doubt Joanne Clifton is dancing like she’s never danced before as she hits the Opera House stage in Flashdance The Musical.

Forget foxtrotting and quickstepping, she’s hip-hopping and body locking as the irrepressible Alex Owens in this stage adaptation of the classic movie.

Alex is a welding apprentice by day and a club dancer by night, with dreams of studying at a top dance school but no training to get her well turned out foot in the door.

Joanne has certainly taken her passion for dance and made it happen, in a rapid rise from competition dancer to leading lady - proving a fine triple threat with a powerful voice and great chemistry with A1 boyband frontman Ben Adams - also in fine voice - as love interest Nick Hurley and her friends.

A clever set and lighting rig moves the action with speed and ease from factory floor to club, to various apartments - although not the comfiest of homes.

Musically the show is a slightly weird mix of hits from the movie soundtrack - Gloria, Manhunt, I Love Rock and Roll, and of course What A Feeling - alongside 80s-inspired original songs.

And with the added music, some of the sub plots, even Alex and Nick’s romance, are rushed and skimmed over, leaving gaps here and there.

I’ve never seen the full film, just the iconic audition room scene danced by Jennifer Beals as Alex, but still this production seemed to lack a bit of something. Even that famed routine left me feeling like something was missing - almost like it skipped a verse to reach the show’s end.

That said, there’s no denying the energy and talent bursting from the stage.

Anyone after a quick-step back in time and a hit of 80s nostalgia, gets a fun medley of the soundtrack favourites come the curtain call - which can’t fail to send you out humming the hits and digging out the legwarmers.

* Until Saturday, November 4.