Flashdance – the musical, is coming to Derry

Growing up in the 80’s will always be something to be proud of. We were part of the greatest musical era of all time. And right bang in the middle of that was the infamous movie Flashdance.  I remember it well, coming out in the early part of the decade, 1983. At just 14 years of age, I danced many the night away to Flashdance, What a Feeling. We all felt on top of the world as soon as the song came on. There was just that ‘feel good’ feeling surrounding the music of Flashdance. And now we are about to experience this all very soon on the Derry stage at Millennium Forum Derry from 19th March to 24th March. A fantastic week of music, song, dance and dreams is guaranteed. And I for one am just a little (a whole lot) excited.

Dance like you’ve never danced before! FLASHDANCE-THE MUSICAL tells the inspiring and unforgettable story of 18 year old Alex, a welder by day and ‘flashdancer’ by night, who dreams of going to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy and becoming a professional dancer. When a romance complicates her ambitions, she harnesses it to drive her dream. 
Based on the Paramount Pictures film (Screenplay by Tom Hedley and Joe Eszterhas, story by Tom Hedley) Flashdance is an inspiring musical about the power of holding onto your dreams and love against all the odds. 
Prepare to be blown away with an astonishing musical spectacle and phenomenal choreography to this iconic score including the smash hits Maniac, Manhunt, Gloria, I Love Rock & Roll and the sensational title track Flashdance – What a Feeling. 
Produced by the award winning team at Selladoor Productions- producers of Footloose, Avenue Q and Little Shop of Horrors, and Runaway Entertainment – producers of Lazarus, In the Heights and Guys and Dolls, FLASHDANCE-THE MUSICAL is not to be missed!

Ben Adams and Joanne Clifton are the two current leads in the show. I was very fortunate to catch up with Ben Adams earlier this week to talk about his part in the show and how he feels about that Flashdance experience. As we spoke on Tuesday lunchtime Ben and Joanne were travelling together and both doing back-to-back interviews. In Torquay at the time Ben told me they were absolutely frozen and then he had to step out of the car to allow both of them to carry out these simultaneous interviews. I was most grateful for his freezing just to talk to myself!! Cheers Ben!

So as Ben told me he couldn’t “feel his toes” because of the cold spell, he was also very excited about his forthcoming trip to Derry. “I’m very looking forward to coming to Derry and seeing the city. I think I’ve been to Northern Ireland before but I’m really excited now about the Derry visit.” I assured him that a very warm welcome will be ready and waiting for him and the rest of the cast on arrival here. And hopefully by mid-March his toes will be well warmed up and the Derry air really will have some spring warmth in it also.

Ben plays lead romantic Nick Hurley in Flashdance. He’s been singing since he was a young eight year old boy. First as head chorister at St. Margaret’s Westminster Abbey, touring all over Europe and regularly singing for the Queen and the Pope, then he became lead singer of A1 aged just 16.
 So just how did he end up in a dance musical like Flashdance?
“I’m used to being on stage and performing to large audiences. This is just something different. In the musical scenario it’s to a much more intimate audience. I’m used to singing my own work, and here I’m singing and performing someone elses work. I love both. This is a very high energy show and I just love it. I’m a performer and this just works. Having written my own musical I’m getting to experience every side to being a performer now – my music, my writing and someone elses writing and music.” Ben’s passion for what he does comes clearly across.
He adds, “the part of Nick in Flashdance is perfect for me. I play the complete opposite of Alex. I have several musical numbers which I love performing and I love the concept in this show about pursuing your dreams. I pursued mine and continue to do so.”

“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 playing this role and to be working with such an amazing cast and crew is a real honour”

Just what is it about Flashdance that continues to have audiences on their feet now in 2018? “It’s such a high energy show and it’s very much set in the 80’s. This era was all about flamboyance. It was a time for people to express themselves with no inhibitions. It’s a time never to be repeated. There’s just something special about the 80’s and it’s such a feel good experience that everyone continues to love it. The show has everyone up on their feet. It’s just everything about feeling good. It’s fantastic”, said Ben.

Having sold over 10 million record sales with pop band A1 Ben Adams is now a very successful songwriter and producer. Hes worked with Craig David, JLS, Alexandra Burke to name but a few. And he has his own musical currently running in the West End. Eugenius, like Flashdance is very much “rooted in the 80’s” Ben told me.  So just what has this young man, at just mid thirties still got to achieve?

“I had achieved so much in my life by the time I reached 22. So I’m now continually setting new goals. I’ve sang in the band, I’ve toured the world, I’ve wrote my own musical, I’ve starred in Flashdance. I’ve crammed as many lifetimes as I can into my life to date so I guess I’d like to write and perform some more. I’d like to write and star in my own musical but I’m not sure if that would work.” I’m exhausted just listening to all that Ben Adams has done with his life. He finishes by saying, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” That’s a pretty strong work ethic this guy has.

I and I’m sure many many others are very looking forward to welcoming Ben and all the cast of Flashdance to Derry later this month. And I hope he doesn’t plan on sleeping too much when he’s here and does indeed get around the city and surrounding area to explore what our wonderful area has to offer.

Flashdance, proudly sponsored by the Derry News, performs at the Millennium Forum from Mon 19th to Sat 24th March.  Tickets are now available from the Box Office.  Telephone 71 264455 or visit Millennium Forum for bookings.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I am certainly eagerly awaiting my visit to Flashdance in Derry and I certainly will have my dancing shoes on that night. 

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