Iconic disco film Saturday Night Fever re-created on Sheffield Lyceum theatre stage
Tony Manero struts his stuff on stage in a show that recreates the film that made John Travolta into a star.
Musical Saturday Night Fever is based on the 1977 film and was created by famous West End producer and director Bill Kenwright to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
It tells the story of paint store clerk Tony Manero, a disco dancefloor king who escapes the harsh realities of working-class Brooklyn life when he embarks on a reckless, yet thrilling road to dancing success.
Matthew Bourne Company, Streetdance The Movie and Casualty star Richard Winsor plays Tony and Kate Parr plays Stephanie, the dance partner who he falls in love with.
She said: “My character’s journey throughout is thinking she is more than him but in the end she realises that she loves him.
“There’s a big old battle between what she wants and whether Tony is right for her or not. It’s a fun part to play.”
Kate said she could relate to aspects of Stephanie’s life: “She has massive goals in her life. She is from Brooklyn and wants to move into Manhattan. I grew up in Stoke-on-Trent and wanted to move to London and had goals and prospects of my own.
“She’s a bit self-important! I don’t think I am, I think that is a character change I’ve had to get into.”
The movie soundtrack remains one of the best-selling of all time, featuring the Bee Gees’ greatest hits including Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, Tragedy and More Than a Woman, as well as 70s favourites such as Boogie Shoes and Disco Inferno.
Kate said that three actors play the Bee Gees and are on stage singing throughout the show. She sings duets with Tony and has one solo number.
“It’s a nice moment on stage on my own. It’s the first moment you really see my character break down.”
This is Kate’s first starring role only three years after graduating from drama school and she said the tour has been “tiring but fun”.
“Richard, who plays Tony, has been a real help and support system. We have helped each other and he has been a really great creative partner to me.
“Bill Kenwright never doubted me and helped me through the rehearsal process. I never thought this would happen to me.”
Her research for the role included watching the film lots of times: “The show does have all the big disco scenes as well as the gritty stuff.
“There was one of the big competition numbers that we watched and it was fun to see what moves they did. We have tried to emulate them.”
She added: “He’s so cool, John Travolta, in that film. It’s the most swagger that anyone has ever had!”
The audience have been keen to show off their own moves, said Kate.
“Without fail, every single show, at the end of the play they can’t wait to get up on their feet.
“It’s so much fun. There’s been really good responses. Everyone knows the music of the Bee Gees, singing and dancing along and copying our dance moves. It’s really, really great.”
As a fan of retro fashion, Kate is keen to tour Sheffield’s thrift stores. She said: “I love the costumes in this show. The 70s style is just the coolest. I wear these incredible platform shoes which I want to steal afterwards!”
Saturday Night Fever is at the Lyceum in Sheffield from February 26 to March 2. Tickets: wwww.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk