With rehearsals well under way, the UK Tour of Flashdance The Musical is about to spend the next year wowing audiences around the country.
The eighties classic American romantic drama will feature Strictly Come Dancing favourite Joanne Clifton as Alex Owens and A1’s Ben Adams as Nick Hurley.
With high energy and a seemingly never ending supply of legwarmers, the show promises to bring back that fun 80’s feeling and invites the audience to revisit a beloved film and era.
We sat down with Joanne and Ben to talk about the upcoming show and to learn a bit more about their Flashdance experience so far.
Joanne, how are you enjoying riding a bike around the stage?
‘Before the show, I couldn’t ride a bike… Well, I could ride it in a straight line but not around corners!’
Ben, you’ve had a varied career beginning with classical training and then moving onto the pop scene with A1 – how does belting out 80’s classics fit into your career at the moment?
‘I think 80’s is one of my favourite genres, I love this kind of music. When I listen to music at home, my Spotify playlist is mostly 80’s. My musical ‘Eugenius’is very 80’s inspired, as is my solo album so when Flashdance came along it all really tied together’
And Joanne, you are no stranger to different genres – from Strictly Come Dancing’s 1950’s jive, to your portrayal of the 1920’s flapper girl in Thoroughly Modern Millie, is the 80’s an era that you love?
‘I was born in the 80’s – I love shell suits! I like lots of genres, especially Hanson, what era is that? 90’s?’
I think so, does that mean you would audition for ‘Hanson, The Musical?
‘Definitely, I’d be the lead!’
What is it like working with each other on the show?
Ben – ‘There are a lot of laughs, it’s difficult because sometimes I will look at Joanne and if my lip starts to quiver then she can tell and it’s game over! We have been told off a couple of times for not being able to finish a scene’
Joanne – ‘We have a technique, when either of us knows the other is going to laugh, we just have to turn away!’
Lastly, how many pairs of legwarmers does the average cast member get through during a week of shows?
Ben – ‘Well I get through about 100 personally, backstage just trying them on’
Joanne – ‘I’m not sure, we are yet to see the costumes!’
With performances up and down the UK, be sure to check out this fun and colourful show, combining your favourite hits with fabulous choreography that will leave you dancing your way home – this one isn’t just for 80’s kids!
Joanne & Ben were speaking to Stephanie Legg at the launch of Flashdance The Musical
Flashdance The Musical opens 4th August at Glasgow King’s Theatre and is set to tour until July 2018. Full schedule at the official website:
Flashdance – The Musical returns to the UK for the first time since 2011 starring Strictly favourite Joanne Clifton and singer-songwriter Ben Adams, and will arrive at Glasgow King’s Theatre on 05 August 2017 prior to an extensive UK tour.
Strictly Come Dancing Champion Joanne Clifton is no stranger to being at the top, as she is also a World & European Champion ballroom dancer, and is one of very few pro dancers to have won both the main Strictly glitter ball with Ore Oduba last year and the Christmas Special in 2015 with Harry Judd.
Joanne made her musical theatre debut in the role of Streetwalker in the UK premiere of the Irving Berlin musical Face The Music, for which she was nominated for an Off West End Award. She followed this up with a turn as Marilyn Monroe in the Norma Jeane Musical and then tread the boards as Millie Dillmount in the No. 1 UK Tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie for which she garnered rave reviews.
She is now excited to take on her latest starring role as Alex Owens in the UK Tour of Flashdance. Joanne says:
“This is just another dream come true! I think everyone in the world whether dancer or non-dancer, as soon as they hear ‘What a Feeling’, remember that iconic scene at the end of the film and I’m so incredibly lucky that I get to do that every night in a UK TOUR along with fabulous numbers like ‘She’s a Maniac’. I’m over the moon! It’s another amazing opportunity in my musical theatre career and I can once again sing and act alongside dancing! I just hope the water’s not too cold when it falls on me!”
Ben Adams who will join Joanne on stage as Nick Hurley has been singing and performing since the age of 8. His career started as head chorister at St. Margaret’s, Westminster Abbey, singing at royal weddings, touring all over Europe, recording 2 classical albums and frequently singing for the likes of the queen and the pope. At 16, he became the lead singer of the band a1, who racked up 10 million record sales, 2 UK number ones, 5 studio albums and toured throughout the world, winning a Brit award among many others.
When the band split, Ben took to the studio and is now a successful song writer and producer, working with the likes of Robin Thicke, Craig David, JLS, Ward Thomas, Sam Bailey, Boyzone and Alexandra Burke to name but a few. He also reached the final of Celebrity Big Brother, the Norwegian version of Strictly Come Dancing, and Master Chef in Denmark. As well as writing for other artists, he went straight to number 1 in the itunes charts with his classical album titled One Beautiful Mourning. His first solo album 1981 will be launched early 2018.
In 2010, a1 reformed and having successfully completed stadium tours in Asia and 68 sold out arena concerts across Europe, they starred in The Big Reunion on ITV2 and played arenas across the country. They continue to tour throughout the world.
Ben has also written a brand-new musical called ‘EUGENIUS!’ Which after a sold-out London Palladium performance, is set to hit the West End stage next year.
Ben says of taking to the stage in Flashdance:
“It’s amazing to be part of such an iconic story, and as an 80’s child I was brought up on this music so I couldn’t be happier playing Nick in the theatre production of Flashdance. Whilst I continue with my own music career and touring with a1, Musical Theatre has always been a real passion of mine, so to be asked to play this role, and to be working with such an amazing cast and crew is a real honour. I look forward to seeing you all out on the road in the coming months”
Additional cast includes: Colin Kiyani, Rikki Chamberlain, Garry Lee Netley, Carol Ball, Sia Dauda, Hillie Ann Lowe, Simeon Beckett, Rhodri Watkins, Demmileigh Foster, Emily Kenwright, Ameila Rose Fielding, Alex Christian, Matt Concannon.