Above, Ben Adams as Nick Hurley in Flashdance. Photos by Brian Hartley
The 80’s will return with an explosion of dance and iconic tracks as Flashdance The Musical comes to town next week.
The hit musical has been making its way across the UK since opening at the King's Theatre in Glasgow on July last year.
Based on the Paramount Pictures film, Flashdance is an inspiring musical about the power of holding onto your dreams and love against all the odds. It tells the inspiring story of 18 year old Alex, performed by ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ star Joanne Clifton, who is welder by day and ‘flashdancer’ by night and holds aspirations of going to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy and becoming a professional dancer.
Co-starring alongside the ballroom dancing star is Ben Adams who plays her admirer, and bosses son, Nick Hurley.
Ben came to the nation’s attention as lead singer of 90s pop group A1, who had numerous Number 1 hits and international success.
The english singer makes his musical theatre debut with Flashdance and explained how he is very much enjoying the tour when we caught up with him ahead of their arrival at the Millennium Forum.
“I’m really enjoying it” said Ben. “I’ve been to a lot of places that I’ve never been before, so I’ve been going around exploring when I get the opportunity.
“The 80s are one of my favourite eras for music and pop culture. You’ve got ‘Manic’, ‘Gloria’, ‘I Love Rock n’ Roll’, ‘What a Feeling’, which are some of the most iconic tracks in music so it’s a lot of fun.
Although the musical is filled to the brim with big numbers, Ben revealed that it is a lesser known track which he loves most.
“My favourite track though is not actually one of the big iconic tracks, but a track called ‘Here And Now’ which is from the original score of Flashdance” revealed Ben.
“It’s a track that myself and my co-star Joanne Clifton actually recorded. It’s an absolutely beautiful theatre ballad and is also from the part of the show where my character and Jo’s character fall in love and it’s a really nice scene, and a really nice song.”
Ben Adams, Joanne Clifton - Here and Now
Ben has spent his entire career within the music business, not only writing and produce his own material, but for many other well known musicians also. Although he has a love of theatre, he revealed that he previously didn’t know if it was an area which he would actually wish to perform in.
“I’ve always loved theatre and have pretty much seen everything going, but I didn’t know if I really wanted to be involved in musical theatre if I’m honest. Everything that’s ever been offered to me in the past, I’ve turned down.
“Flashdance came along at a period where I had been spending a lot of time in the studio writing and producing for other people, and I had also been writing my own musical called ‘Eugenius!’ so I thought, if there was ever going to be a time for me to try out musical theatre and see if I actually enjoyed doing it myself, this would be a pretty good time and a pretty good musical to start with.
“I’ve loved it so much that initially I was contracted to do six months, but I extended my contract until October this year. It’s a long old tour but I’m enjoying it a lot.”
Although Ben has mastered some tricky dance routines in the past, having come second in the Norwegian version of Strictly Come Dancing in 2012, he revealed that he doesn’t actually need to put his dancing shoes on to play the role of Nick Hurley.
“Funnily enough, my character in Flashdance does not dance at all. If I tried to shoehorn a lot of dancing into this, it would be so inappropriate for my character. If I break a sweat I know I’m doing something wrong” laughed Ben.
“He is the polar opposite of Joanne Clifton’s character, so she does all the dancing. I do a lot of walking around and I go up a few steps, and down a few steps which is obviously very demanding. I’ve been teaching Joanne everything I know and she’s been lapping it up and enjoying my tutorials” laughed the star.
“Joanne is such a fantastic dancer, as are the rest of the cast also. They are all such talented actors and such talented singers, I feel very lucky to be part of such an amazing cast, and Joanne leads with her dancing so magnificently.”
The english singer has also made the jump from writing music to writing musicals with his current production ‘Eugenius!’ which has been gaining rave reviews.
“It’s currently at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatre in London and it has been going amazingly well” said Ben
“It’s been getting fantastic reviews and feedback so the plan is to continue the run. It ends there on 3rd March and then the plan is to transfer it into a bigger theatre in London to continue the great work that the amazing cast are doing.
“It’s essentially more fulfilling to do that kind of thing than writing and producing for other artists. I love doing that also but essentially you are writing and producing what other people want you to write. I have found it to be a freer experience to do whatever I wanted and have no limitation. It’s quite 80s inspired also and I absolutely love the 80’s. It’s such a great era for music.”
Ben not only fill his days with theatre performances and producing tracks for other artists, but also manages to find the time to write and record his own material. He has already released two tracks from his debut solo album ‘1981’ which is due to hit the shops later this year.
“I’ve been writing that for quite some time now but because ‘Eugenius!’ and Flashdance came along, I thought it best to put it on hold. But it’s all sitting there ready to go. It’s named after the year I was born, 1981.
“I’ve released two tracks from it so far, OMG and Crush which are on Spotify and all the digital platforms. I also did a classical album called One Beautiful Mourning which did quite well, going to Number 1 in the iTunes Classical Chart which was a bit of a surprise for me. I wanted to do lots of different things and kept myself busy and interested.
“I actually began to release it last year but then I released the ‘Eugenius!’ album instead, which both myself and Joanne are singing on, but I didn’t want to release everything at the same time so I decided to halt the release for a while until I can promote the ‘Eugenius!’ album properly. I’ll probably put out a new track in a month or so” revealed Ben.
Flashdance the Musical arrives at the Millennium Forum on 19th March and runs until 24th and Ben told us what we can expect.
“It’s got such fantastic energy and you really don’t want to miss it. Everyone leaves with having such the best time with audiences up on their feet every single night. We have a great time too and I think that translates to the audience”
Tickets for Flashdance are on sale now.