I can never say Flashdance without added ‘what a feeling’ but then again I lived through playing the music in the clubs and of course the movie was a huge success. I was not as aware of the stage musical however and it came 25 years after the movie in 2008. After a UK tour it made the West End in 2010 and only got to the US in 2012. The version we can see in Edinburgh was based on a 2013 Stockholm production and stars Verity Jones as Alex Owens, a hugely demanding part as she has to be a strong singer and an athletic dancer with numbers throughout the show.
For the UK tour the producers announced World Champion and Strictly star Joanne Clifton alongside Ben Adams from the band A1 but they join the tour later in the run (so watch out Aberdeen), although they both played the Glasgow dates last year. Having said that Verity is fully up to the role but I did think she kept some reserve for the more demanding second half. Colin Kiyani plays Nick Hurley her boss for the Edinburgh dates and he handled this with ease. Remember the story? Alex is a welder by day and dreams of a dance career and while dancing in clubs she dreams of joining a dance academy to further her professional career. Various subplots involve her love life, home life, workplace redundancies and the dance club rivalry.
During all this we get some great songs both originals and the dance hits from the original movie. Flashdance title song naturally is a full ensemble finale with some outstanding dance with an encore featuring the whole cast with their signature moves and this alone had the opening night audience on their feet. You also should know Maniac, a massive disco hit and Gloria which crops up a few times but at a slower pace compared to its disco days. The show moves along at a great pace giving plenty of scope for the major element of dance and yes, we do get the iconic wet shower dance scene.
Edinburgh Playhouse till January 20