Even without seeing the original film everyone knows the iconic white suit, the funky dance moves and the unforgettable music. The stars of Saturday Night Fever brought the Lyceum to its feet as it treated us to a show of stunning dancing, tight trousers and no less than eight disco balls.
Tony Manero (Richard Winsor) is the local it-guy; he has the best dance moves in town – all the guys want to be him and all the girls want to be with him. But behind closed doors he’s the black sheep of the family who works a dead-end job and lives with an abusive father. When a dance competition at the local disco is announced, Tony has an opportunity to prove his talent and enlists Stephanie Mangano (Kate Parr) as his dancing partner.
Winsor stands out on stage, and not just because of his costumes, when he’s dancing it’s hard not to tear your eyes off him and he pulls off those timeless moves with flair and John Travolta-confidence that we all associate with the production. His and Parr’s chemistry together stands out as we get to know them. All the while the ensemble cast provide great support and help to bring the musical numbers alive (even if their American-Italian accents leave little to be desired at times).
One of the best parts of the production is the inclusion of the BeeGees (Ed Handoll; Alastair Hill; Matt Faul) who provide vocals from atop a balcony. Their hair and beards make them almost look like a trio of Gods looking over their creation – never interfering, only providing musical context.
The set felt rather cramped on the small stage and the relatively short scenes which are inevitably followed by a set change gives the production a ‘jumpy’ feel at times. Nevertheless when the stage is lit with multicoloured squares and the disco lights are spinning, suddenly the whole theatre becomes the dancefloor as the audience rise out of their seats and dance along with the cast.
The production is an homage to some of the most memorable music of the 70’s and shows that, even 42 years later, it still makes us get up and dance.
Featured image credit – Sheffield Theatres