By Hilary Porter

IT may be over 40 years since the disco dance craze movie Saturday Night Fever exploded into our lives on the cinematic big screen but this is one glitter ball of a show that has lost none of its sparkle.

In fact, having seen the stage show several times over the years I believe this is the best production of it yet.

What is most striking about this reinvigorated, spectacular, reimagined show - directed by Bill Kenwright and choreographed by Bill Deamer, is the greater dance content which had us on the edge of our seats and ultimately up dancing ourselves.

The music remains the second best-selling film soundtrack of all time (overtaken in 1992 by The Bodyguard) and so it was a joy to see the curtain rise to our three Bee Gees lookalikes in gold suits singing Stayin’ Alive and, with the live on- stage band, remain a fairly constant presence as the story unfolded, brimming with disco hits.

Undoubtedly, the casting of former Matthew Bourne dancer and Casualty star Richard Winsor in John Travolta’s role as Tony Manero has brought new magic and excitement to the show. Clearly drawing on his experience as the lead in Bourne’s Swan Lake and Edward Scissorhands, he did so much more than smoulder and strut in homage to Travolta. The energy, fluidity and magnetism he brought to the dance floor was totally captivating. As a dramatic actor he was utterly convincing and every inch Manero drawing gasps from the audience as he pulled on the iconic white flared trouser suit to escape the realities of harsh working class Brooklyn life.

A first class cast who dance and sing their hearts out also included the excellent Olivia Fines as his love interest Stephanie Mangano and it is a wonderful partnership.

Timeless hits like Night Fever, You Should be Dancing, Jive Talkin’, Tragedy, More than a Woman, and How Deep is Your Love – amongst many more, meant this was a joyful, uplifting show and I loved every single minute of it!

Runs until Saturday in Southampton.