Saturday Night Fever

Oct 24 2018 | By More

★★★★☆     Electric

Edinburgh Playhouse: Tue 23 – Sat 27 Oct 2018
Review by Sarah Moyes

It’s been 40 years since Saturday Night Fever hit the big screen, but the musical adaptation of the cult disco classic is back in an all-new production at the Playhouse this week.

Saturday Night Fever tells the tale of Tony Manero, a young working-class man in Brooklyn who spends his weekends spinning around the dance-floor in a bid to escape the harsh realities of his life from his dead-end job to fights with his drunk dad.

Kate Parr and Richard Winsor. Pic BKP

Kate Parr and Richard Winsor. Pic BKP

When a local dance competition offers a £1,000 prize to the best dancer, there’s only one thing Tony has on his mind on as he puts on that famous white suit and takes centre stage in the disco.

The show opens with what’s arguably one of the Bee Gees most famous songs, Stayin’ Alive sung by a sound-alike ensemble played by Edward Handoll (Barry), Alastair Hill (Maurice) and Matt Faull (Robin) as the brothers Gibb.

This new production is the first time the show has ever featured a group playing the Bee Gees live on stage, and it’s a very welcome addition to the show.

The trio are superb in the delivery of the songs sounding very much like the Gibb brothers on hit songs like How Deep Is Your Love, More Than A Woman, and Jive Talking. However, with the Bee Gees taking the lead on the songs, it means you don’t often get to hear the rest of the cast sing which seems very peculiar for a musical.

emotional rendition

However, Anna Campkin treats us to a beautifully emotional rendition of If I Can’t Have You as Anna in the first act to break up the disco numbers.

A scene from Saturday Night Fever. Pic BKB

A scene from Saturday Night Fever. Pic BKB

Anyone stepping into the role of Tony Manero that was made iconic by John Travolta in the 1970s is going to have big shoes to fill. Luckily for Richard Winsor, known for his roles in Casualty and Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, he gives an excellent performance in his first leading role in a major musical. He’s confident and oozes charm, but there’s also a vulnerability to his character too as the story has some heat-breaking turns along the way.

Of course, you couldn’t take on the role of Tony unless you know how to move, and Richard certainly has rhythm as he leads the cast through some very impressive dance numbers with authentic and captivating choreography by Bill Deamer.

The rest of the cast give sold performances and there’s really no weak link here from Tony’s friends Owen Broughton (Gus), Michael Cortez (Joey), Raphael Pace (Bobbie C) and Jared Thompson (Double Jay) to his beautiful dance partner Stephanie played by Kate Parr.

There are moments in the show where you truly feel like you’ve been transported to a 1970s disco in New York. It’s hard not to jump off your seat and start dancing when Disco Inferno and Night Fever roar around the theatre as reflections from glitterballs spin around the room and the stage lights up like the iconic club dance floor.

This new stage production is hugely entertaining and judging by the number of people dancing away in their seats, Saturday Night Fever will remind an iconic dance floor classic for many years to come.

Running time: two hours 30 minutes (including one interval)
Edinburgh Playhouse, 18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Phone booking: 0844 871 3014
Tuesday 23 – Saturday 27 Oct 2018
Evenings: 7.30pm, Matinees Weds, Thurs, Sat: 2.30pm.
Tickets and booking details:

The original movie, its soundtrack and novelisation are available to buy. Click the images for details:


Saturday Night Fever on tour:
23 – 27 Oct Edinburgh 
0844 871 3014 Book online
30 Oct – 3 Nov Blackpool 
Winter Gardens
0844 856 1111 Book online
13 – 17 Nov Llandudno 
Venue Cymru
01492 872000 Book online
20 – 24 Nov Bradford 
01274 432000 Book online
27 – 1 Dec Cardiff 
Wales Millennium Centre
029 20636464 Book online
Tour continues 2019:
8 – 12 Jan 2019 Dartford 
Orchard Theatre
01322 220000 Book online
22 – 26 Jan 2019 Manchester 
Opera House
0844 871 3018 Book online
29 Jan – 2 Feb 2019 Hull 
New Theatre
01482 300 300 Book online
12 – 16 Feb 2019 York 
The Grand Opera House
08448 472 322 Book online
5 – 9 Mar 2019 Newcastle 
Theatre Royal
08448 11 21 21 Book online


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