Saturday Night Fever at Venue Cymru – Theatre Review
One of the movies that I love from the 70s is Saturday Night Fever and thanks to Bill Kenwright the movie has made its way to the stage and last night it was opening night of the musical version of the 70s movie that made John Travolta a household name.
Casualty’s Richard Winsor takes on Travolta’s role of Tony Manero and shows off his highly acclaimed dance, stage and screen work, Winsor doesn’t really need much of an introduction, he was the principal dancer with Matthew Bourne for ten years, Winsor starred around the world, leading Bourne’s celebrated production of Swan Lake, as well as Dorian Gray, Edward Scissorhands, The Car Man and Play Without Words.
Richard Winsor landed the lead role in cult dance movie StreetDance 3D and was snapped up by the BBC to play Caleb Knight in flagship medical drama Casualty, a role in which he gripped audiences for over three years until his dramatic exit last year, which shocked the star’s millions of fans as he lost his life in a knife fight.
This new musical production of Saturday Night Fever, produced by Bill Kenwright by special arrangement with The Robert Stigwood Organisation, sees Richard Winsor take on his first leading role in a major musical, and, his first stage appearance since Casualty.
It makes me feel really old when you think that the Saturday Night Fever movie hit cinemas here in the UK 40 years ago, but with the musical version of the story, the story of Tony Manero is brilliantly brought to the stage not only by Richard Winsor but also the superb supporting cast that makes Saturday Night Fever a toe-tapping success.
Joining Richard on the stage are Kate Parr, Raphael Pace, Michael Cortez, Jared Thompson, Owen Broughton, Anna Campkin and many more cast members that all come together to bring that 70s feel to Venue Cymru, let’s not forget the Bee Gees as well, not just the music but also three cast members portray the Gibb brothers at the rear of the stage with the delights of those amazing tracks that we have all come to love over the years. Edward Handoll, Alastair Hill and Matt Faull (Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb) are superb throughout the show and you would almost believe that the Bee Gees are on the stage.
Richard Winsor and the cast put on a superb performance throughout the show, with Richard really stealing the show with his acting, singing and his dancing, there is one moment when he does an alternative dance on the stage on his own, in a rather emotional moment of Saturday Night Fever’s story, beautifully done and performed by Richard.
Fans of Saturday Night Fever the movie will remember the amazing tracks on the soundtrack and the musical is no exception, I did mention the Bee Gees earlier and their hits bring the power of not only the lyrics but also the music as they are performed throughout the show, tracks including Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, Tragedy and More Than a Woman as well as 70’s favourites Boogie Shoes, Disco Inferno are beautifully performed by the Bee Gees of the show.
Saturday Night Fever was a surprise for me, I love the original movie and I have to say I did have a small moment of doubt about the film being transferred to the theatre as a musical, but that doubt was soon pushed away with the brilliant performances from the cast, the excellent music and the set design, which I have to say is stunning the backdrops that make you feel that you have been whisked away stateside as well as quick, flawless, changes to the set to take us to internal and external locations, such at Tony’s home, the 2001 nightclub and many more.
Bill Kenwright has done it again with a superb production and he has also directed Saturday Night Fever and he has certainly put together a show that is not only entertaining but is so much fun to watch, the choreography from Olivier Award-winning Bill Dreamer is wonderful to watch.
Saturday Night Fever is on at Venue Cymru until Saturday 17th November 2018, don’t miss this one folks, get your groove on and boogie yourself over to see the show. Tickets available for www.venuecymru.co.uk or the Box Office on 01492 872000.
Time to get your Groove on!
The 70s comes back to Venue Cymru as Bill Kenwright’s musical version of Saturday Night Fever wows the crowds and gets them up on their feet.