Last Friday evening i found myself at one of the showings of ‘Flashdance the musical’ at the Shaftesbury Theatre. I hadn’t purchased the tickets myself (although I have been to a couple of musicals in my time) and was there as a guest of my fine lady who loves the film and found herself excitedly purchasing tickets last week when she heard that the musical was in town. I’ve got to say I am familiar with a few songs on the soundtrack (as i’m sure most people are) and I was quite looking forward to it as some form of dance spectacular (even if it did feature Matt Willis from Busted). I’m sure there isn’t much i could do to spoil the plot as i’m sure it’s about as familiar as the soundtrack. Anyway it’s about a lady, Alex, who works in a steel factory in Pittsburgh by day and is a dancer in a club by night – and she secretly yearns to be accepted into the prestigious Shipley dance academy.
Now i’m not sure how faithful the ‘plot’ to the musical is to the film but it seemed fairly flimsy to me and i wasn’t over-enamoured with the songs they stuck in either. I thought they really had a chance to put out some big 80’s numbers with some new school dancing – especially during the club scenes but apart from one (or was it possibly two) song(s) they failed to do this. Now this may sound like me just not enjoying musicals but my fair lady was so unhappy at half time that she asked if we could go (which i declined being something of a masochist). Thankfully we didn’t as it did improve somewhat in the second half although only enough to justify my awarding it a 6 out of 10! Which probably tells you how impressed i was by the end of the first half.
One thing i was impressed with however was the fact that the leading lady was off ill so her understudy (who was one of the other cast members) had taken on her role and the role which was vacated by her was covered by someone else. Now how on earth she didn’t find it highly confusing when she was on stage speaking to the lady who was covering her role i’m not so sure but she seemed to have it nailed.
Having not seen the film (for at least 20 years – if ever) there was, to my mind, a huge gaping hole in the plot of the musical (as i’m not sure if these are covered in the film). What on earth happened to Jimmy? He has a relatively small but unforgettable part in the play but what happens to him is not covered. I, for one, certainly wanted to know…
I could probably go on but figure i should probably just leave it there. If this hasn’t put you off then i suppose you should probably go and see it.