Saturday Night Fever

"...an amazing spectacle of some of the best dancing I’ve seen in a very long time! "

A jukebox musical based on the 70’s smash hit film, Saturday Night Fever has transported onto the stage and is a definite crowd pleaser!

It’s safe to say that when we think of Saturday Night Fever, we think of John Travolta in that iconic white suit strutting down the streets of New York to the soundtrack of some classic Bee Gees hits.  Well, Jack Wilcox in the lead role of Tony Manero has absolutely embodied the sex appeal that Travolta bought to the role.  I must admit to being completely mesmerised by his performance. The walk, the dancing and overall stage presence was bursting off the stage.  There were many stand out moments during Wilcox’s time on stage, but one I would like to single out was during ‘Immortality’, a quite beautiful solo dance routine that really slowed things down but delivered on so many levels.

Now Saturday Night Fever would be nothing without the Bee Gees soundtrack. They famously wrote some of their biggest hits for the film including ‘Stayin’ Alive’, ‘Jive Talkin’ and ‘You Should Be Dancing’.  These iconic songs were bought to us in the shape of the Bee Gees themselves played by AJ Jenks (Barry Gibb), Drew Ferry (Maurice Gibb) and Oliver Thomson (Robin Gibb). The sound was spot on, and the vocals blended exceptionally well together.  The ‘Bee Gees’ featured at various points during the show overlooking the stage in gold velour outfits looking every inch the real deal!  A highlight for me personally was ‘Too Much Heaven’.  The harmonies were perfection in every sense as they shared this number with Billie Hardy (Annette), Melody E Jones (Flo Manero) and Rebekah Bryant (Stephanie Mangano).

For me, the story was secondary to the phenomenal dance routines we were treated to during Tony’s many moments in the nightclub.  From the second the ‘Bee Gees’ walked into position to start singing and the incredibly talented band under the Musical Direction of Jeremy Wootton started, I was itching in my chair to get up and join in.  They were completely infectious moments and as soon as those disco balls started turning, an extraordinary lighting display courtesy of Nick Richings cemented that cherry on an already delicious cake!

Rebekah Bryant as Stephanie Mangano performed so beautifully and is clearly a very talented performer.  There was great chemistry between the characters Stephanie and Tony and some very steamy moments ensued.   

Tony’s life consists of his biggest passion dancing; however, he also has a close bond with his friends.  Their friendship was a little reminiscent of West Side Story, especially during a fight scene which could have been a ‘Jets’ v ‘Sharks’ moment.  Harry Goodson-Bevan as troubled Bobbie C makes his professional debut in this show and it’s clear to see the talent he has, especially during his rendition of ‘Tragedy’, one of only 2 songs not performed solely by the ‘Bee Gees’. 

With choreography by Bill Deamer, it’s no real surprise that these moments were the standout moments of the show.  The ensemble pieces were perfectly crafted, and every inch of the stage was used. With a backdrop of the streets of Brooklyn, New York the staging by Gary McCann transported you into the nightclub, the dance studio and the Manero home seamlessly and worked very well throughout.

I am still smiling whilst writing this review as the show really is an amazing spectacle of some of the best dancing I’ve seen in a very long time!  Couple that with an incredible back catalogue of some classic Bee Gees hits, you are guaranteed a good night out!  So, you ‘should be dancing’ your way down to the Alexandra Theatre before the disco balls stop turning on the 26th November 2022.

Tickets available here: https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/the-alexandra-theatre-birmingham/

Photo credit: Paul Coltas

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