Archive for January, 2009

Flashdance The Musical - Review

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

I went to see Flashdance (Flash Dance) The Musical at Nottingham’s Royal Centre. I can’t say I was as taken with it as the rest of the audience was - maybe it’s a women thing, because 80% of the (nearly full) audience were female. Most of them seemed to have a fantastic night though, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t either. Luckily I only paid £5 for my ticket so I can’t complain too much!

The best place to gauge whether you think you’d like Flashdance The Musical is its website: check out the two minute video here  It’s quite representative of the whole show (save for the dialogue, of course), and should give you a good idea of what’s involved.

I’m no expert on musical theatre, but I’ve seen enough to know that my tastes are geared more towards shows with great songs coupled with a healthy dose of showbiz factor. Flashdance seemed a little weak on both measures. Sure, there were some impressive dance routines, but the relatively small cast failed to blow me away. Indeed, I dosed off a few times during the first half.  Sets and special effects were uninspring. In fact, there was a noticeably offputting background whirr in the Royal Concert Hall (fans, lights, who knows?).

Victoria Hamilton-Barritt was an excellent Alex, singing and dancing with aplomb. She has a gorgeous voice which really shone through in the quieter numbers. But in the louder songs (and higher registers) her voice would lapse into the clichéd, slightly nasal ‘this-is-how-brits-think-americans-sing‘ style so often heard on Pop Idol and the like.

The best singer by far was Bernie Nolan, who played Hannah. She was superb.

I read one review that said it’s worth sitting through Flashdance just to see the famous hit “What a Feeling” near the end. So when that song began I was understandably excited. But instead of it being turned into a full cast knockout mega-tune, I was rather disappointed that the song featured only three female cast members singing the hit tune. It was a bit lacklustre, not the big climax I’d been hoping for.

Still, the rest of the audience went wild, and seemed to have a really great night. I was a little disappointed.

If you’re after classic Broadway / West End musical theatre then Flashdance The Musical isn’t for you. But if you’re after an enjoyable show with music and dancing then this could be right up your street. As I said earlier, most of the (female) audience seemed to love it!

Posted by Nottingham Jazz