REVIEW: Strictly winner stars in Flashdance at Lyceum until Saturday

By Adele Forrest | 09/08/2018

REVIEW: Strictly winner stars in Flashdance at Lyceum until Saturday
Joanne Clifton

I NEVER thought watching dancers perform could leave me feeling like I’d just climbed off a breath-taking rollercoaster — until I saw Joanne Clifton and co in Flashdance the Musical last night.

The crème de la crème of the dance world, who have the vocal talents to match their suppleness, have been creamed off to star in this stage remake.

The classic 80s film was revived a decade ago for the theatre and BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing champion Clifton takes on the lead role as welder-cum-dancer, Alex Owens.

As a Strictly superfan, I obviously know how talented Clifton is, I mean, I’ve watched that Ore Oduba jive countless times on YouTube.

But seeing her perform up-close was very special — it’s instantly clear why Clifton is a former World Champion ballroom dancer — her stamina, speed, passion and power sets her apart from any dancer I’ve ever seen.

Just when you think she can’t ramp up the energy any more, she takes it to another level and doesn’t lose any momentum throughout the heart-pounding two-hour show. I found myself holding my breath as she created many of the iconic dance scenes that only a champion like Clifton could do justice. 

I was left open-mouthed, and not just because of her enviable six-pack, but because in between all the high intensity dance routines she also manages to sing.

On top of that there are more dance props thrown in than a Strictly Hallowe'en special, including some bike-ography.

The rest of the choreography and costumes reflect the film’s 1983 pop, MTV era but the original plot and characters are tweaked.

Love interest and factory-owner Nick Hurley is developed and was played on Tuesday by understudy Colin Kiyani due to former A1 popstar Ben Adams falling ill.

Kiyani did a fine job — but it’s the female supporting cast that shine.

Hollie-Ann Lowe (Gloria), Sia Dauda (Kiki) and Demmileigh Foster as Tess give amazing vocal performances in Maniac and Manhunt, while Foster’s gritty I Love Rock and Roll solo is a highlight and features some incredible lifts. 

Several of the other numbers are a tad forgettable when sandwiched between such well-know chart hits and there are more than one reprises — but who cares when the dancing is this good?!

I left on a complete high with an urge for a perm and a pair of pop-socks while nearly walking into a lamppost trying to recreate Clifton’s moves, which would have been a (*adopts a Craig Revel Horwood accent*) "daance disaaster".

Flashdance the Musical is at the Sheffield Lyceum until Saturday. For tickets, visit https://bit.ly/2LZmHkJ