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Saturday Night Fever UK Tour Review

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Saturday Night Fever (UK/>/> Tour)

Saturday Night Fever seems to have a new lease of life at the moment. Many of the stars from the West End/> show have now joined this touring production. Eastenders' Shaun Williamson, Musicality's Rebecca Dent and Sean Mulligan now don platforms and flares in the regions fresh from their success on the London/>/> stage. Also joining the cast is Caroline Graham – another winner from the hit TV show Musicality.

The story remains the same as the hit movie. Tony Manero (Williamson) escapes from his dull job and suffocating family life by strutting his stuff at Brooklyn/>'s Odyssey 2001 night club. Hot to trot, he gains plenty of admirers including love sick Annette (Dent). His friend Bobby C cries out for help and attention but Tony is so busy trying to dazzle the crowd that he forgets who his true friends are.

The realism from the film has been replaced with slick dance moves and emotion on auto pilot. Dent tries to inject energy and a sense of desperation into her rendition of Yvonne Eliman's "If I Can't Have You" but ultimately her role is too underwritten to make a huge impact. Her singing voice is excellent and she dances Arlene Phillips' moves wonderfully though. Mulligan wows the crowds with his sheer athleticism. The rest of the ensemble are superbly synchronised and make the difficult dance moves look effortless.

Williamson does well in a fairly thankless part which requires much mugging and pointing into the air but not much else. Jayde Westaby's Stephanie is also underwritten and only during the dance scenes is there any real spark between her and Mulligan.

David Shields' set design is functional and at times stunning particularly during the Odyssey scenes. Jackie Galloway's brilliant costumes also bring the 1970's to life bringing back memories of the iconic white suit with one finger pointing into the air.

The Bee Gees' excellent soundtrack is delivered with panache by the excellent cast. Nan Knighton/>/>'s changes to the script are quite clunky though and the piece fails to highlight the claustrophobia that drives Manero to dance. If it's high drama you are after, Fever isn't the show for you. Even some of the more dramatic elements of the movie just seem lifeless and devoid of emotion.

As the title suggests though this musical is about the moves. The hard working cast certainly have those and they dance till they drop, so who needs true grit? Saturday Night Fever may not make you sweat with excitement but it will make you want to wear your Boogie Shoes and join in during the finale.

www.nightfever.co.uk for tour dates


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From This Author Glenn Meads

Living in Manchester, Glenn writes for whatsonstage.com covering Salford, Manchester and Bolton. He also teaches Media, Film and English. His favourite writers are Arthur Miller, (read more...)