The final number - even if the costume owes more to Jennifer Lopez than Jennifer Beals - is great. Julia Macchio can dance.

But this revelation comes as a relief and surprise after the preceding two-and-a-half hours: it is hard to know which is more ironic - the bad-dance first half or the no-dance second half. Either way, this is Crashdance.

The whole production is perplexingly skew-whiff, artistically and technically: ragged start, nasal singing, flat acting, no chemistry, stuttering microphones.

Lights bounce unpleasantly into audience faces. The drab set seems to have been pinched from a scrap metal yard.


Based on the 1983 hit film, the story is now generic and outdated: Parris Goebel would hardly see getting into ballet school as the pinnacle of success.

For nostalgia's sake we could swallow such an idea, except the show takes itself too seriously.

Any piece in which every song goes up a semi-tone should revel in its own cheese.

Apart from Macchio, only one other cast member - Tanisha Moore - seems to have any charisma or ability to hoof it (her 'Manhunt' ballet-pop mash-up is fun).

Or perhaps the touring American ensemble are normally great dancers but they're uncomfortable with the leaden choreography and ill-fitting, unsexy costumes.

There's one good line, and the show seems to take it to heart: "the worse things get, the less you've got to lose".