80′S MANIA // BRIDLINGTON SPA // 27/5/16

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Harking back to a decade that brimmed with huge hair and loud fashion, the 80’s Mania show did everything in its power to transport all those in attendance back in time. Featuring a live band and dancers, the troupe delivered a fast-paced show that couldn’t fail to raise a smile from the off.

Performing in the venue’s grand ballroom (which had hosted a Kasabian concert just three days beforehand), the 80’s Mania team had a captive audience, with all attendees seated at tables, enabling people to casually hit the bar, dance-floor or toilets whenever they pleased, without causing any disturbance whatsoever to fellow show-goers. Almost immediately, a “dance-pit” lit up directly in front of the stage, with more than thirty people bopping away as a rendition of “Relax” subliminally instructed everybody to let their hair down.

With the principal vocalists taking it in turns to perform, it wasn’t long before a denim-clad Kim Wilde lookalike ran onto the stage, twirling around as she sang “Kids in America.” From there on in, the pace of the show proved relentless; no sooner had one song ended, another would begin, the audience treated to Adam Ant’s “Antmusic” and “Stand and Deliver,” before a dead ringer for Cyndi Lauper dove into “Time After Time” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

Opening the second half with a theatrically staged version of “Ghostbusters,” the pace never once threatened to slow, a pitch-perfect rendition of A-Ha’s “Take On Me” prompting more audience-members than ever to flood the dance-floor. Suitably entranced, almost all those dancing hung on for “Respect” (Erasure’s most popular hit) and The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me.”

Featuring as many wigs as costume changes, the entire show revelled in being a high-octane, high-kicking spectacle: a show of excess that perfectly mirrored the excess of the eighties. And the hits just kept coming, blazing like a pop-powered juggernaut, glorious renditions of Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like The Wolf” and “Rio” the perfect complement to tongue-in-cheek interpretations of Madonna’s “Material World” and “Like A Virgin.”

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With full attention paid to period detail, every single costume was perfect, from the actual outfits to the blingy accessories. Furthermore, a large proportion of show-goers had made the effort to get dressed up accordingly, many of the glowstick-waving women flaunting crimped hair and vintage jumpsuits.

Judging by the positive way the show was received, it seems inevitable that the venue’s August programme of 80’s-themed Saturday nights will go down a storm, the likes of The Blow Monkeys, Sonia, Toyah and Big Country all scheduled to perform.

Check www.thespabridlington.com for more details about upcoming events at The Spa.

Visit www.reunion-group.co.uk for more information about future 80’s Mania shows.

(Steve Rudd)

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