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Preview: Saturday Night Fever at Newcastle Theatre Royal

Bill Kenwright presents
Saturday Night Fever
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Tuesday 5th – Saturday 9th March 2019

Based on the Paramount/RSO film and the story by Nick Cohn.
Adapted for the stage by Robert Stigwood in collaboration with Bill Oakes

In the past stage plays have always been great inspiration for films. It would seem in recent years a shift has occurred and everyone is making stage adaptations of hit movies, especially musicals. Ghost, Dirty Dancing, Footloose and The Wedding Singer have all proved hugely successful as audiences head to see shows they’ll recognise from their film counterparts. This week’s offering is the stage adaptation of the 1977 disco classic drama, Saturday Night Fever.

Saturday Night Fever follows the life of Tony Manero, who escapes harsh working class realities whilst on a reckless, yet thrilling road to dancing success. The narrative is simple and easy to follow but it’s not the story that is the star of the show here anyway. This is a show about DISCO! The music, the dance and the spectacle. The film’s soundtrack remains one of the best selling of all time, featuring the Bee Gees' hits Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, and Tragedy. In this show the songs are superbly performed from a raised stage by Edward Handoll, Alastair Hill and Matt Faull playing the Bee Gees. It’s a brilliant device in this show and I often found myself watching these guys perform as the Bee Gees as much as I was watching the show!

Richard Winsor (Casualty) takes on the lead role here, played by John Trovolta in the movie version. Winsor can really move. He has the male chauvinist attitude of the 70’s whilst retaining a vulnerability and charm that allows the audience to fall in love with him and they really do. Winsor has a stellar cast around him that give a superb ensemble performance. The real stand out for me though has to be Faizal Jaye who played DJ Monty. His energy and dancing were on another level and every time he was on stage I was transfixed.

The real star of this show is the Choreography.  Bill Dreamer has filled the stage with a non-stop, fast-paced disco explosion of dance. It’s sexy, it’s energetic and it’s unashamedly disco, an absolute joy to watch.

Saturday Night Fever is a wildly entertaining, slick and sexy show that will give you the night fever and by the end of the show, you should be dancing!

The show does contain some strong language and some outdated 70’s sexism which is key to the story but means the show may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Review: Stephen Sullivan
Photo: Pamela Raith Photography

Saturday Night Fever is at Newcastle Theatre Royal between Tuesday 5 and Saturday 9 March 2019 playing evenings at 7.30pm (Fri 8.30pm) and matinees Thu 2pm, Fri 5pm, and Sat 2.30pm.
Tickets from £15.50 can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge) or book online at

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