Skip to main content

Flashdance The Musical

The Playhouse, Edinburgh 
Three stars

Anyone wishing to see the connections between classical ballet and shaking your stuff in late-night dives as salvation from the 1980s recession could do worse than check out this touring revival of the musical stage version of Adrian Lyne’s 1983 film. Back then, in a post Fame, pre Billy Elliot world, Tom Hedley’s original story concerning Pittsburgh teenager Alex was as blue-collar aspirational as it got. Alex does dayshifts as a welder at the local steelworks before thrusting her way through a late-night floor-show at the local club, all the time harbouring dreams of joining the tutu-clad elite at the Shipley Dance Academy. 

Enter boss’s son Nick, who attempts to buy his way into Alex’s affections while being forced to lay off shop-floor staff. With the club Alex dances in similarly exposed to hard times, this ushers in a sub-plot concerning even more hardcore small-town sexploitation, until Alex and everyone else come good, with Nick forsaking the evils of late twentieth century capitalism.

Hedley’s book, co-written with Robert Cary, who co-wrote the show’s lyrics with composer Robbie Roth, is a busy construction, with Hannah Chissick’s Selladoor Productions-led affair modelled on a 2013 Swedish take on the show. This is carried by the fearless chutzpah of Verity Jones as Alex, gamely supported by Colin Kiyani as Nick and a breathless cast. 

While there’s something clearly going on beyond the double denim, pink neon and stretch-lycra throwbacks, it’s perhaps telling that the show’s best numbers – Maniac, Gloria, a wisely milked What a Feeling, plus a raunchy version of the Arrows/Joan Jett and the Blackhearts anthem, I Love Rock‘n’Roll – are all from the film. The end result is an entertaining and energetic time capsule that isn’t quite ready yet to stand on its own two feet.

The Herald, January 19th 2018

ends 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug