WHAT is it with all these American musicals that begin with F at the Grand Opera House in 2017?! Footloose toured here in May; Fame was the apt choice for Stage Experience's summer youth project and now Footloose is burning rubber with its super-exuberant bursts of dancing on its first national tour since 2011.

Those who enjoyed Hannah Chissick's productions of Alan Ayckbourn's Home & Garden, John Godber's Bouncers and Teechers and Yasmina Reza's Art in her three years as Harrogate Theatre's artistic director from 2003 will note her work has retained its vibrancy in her freelance career based in South London.

She is working once more with regular choreographer Matt Cole and it is his high-energy style that defines their breathless production of Tom Hedley, Robert Cary and Robbie Roth's musical, based on Adrian Lyne's 1983 film.

Hedley wrote the story for the movie too, and should you need reminding, this is the one with the 18-year Pittsburgh welder, Alex Owens, for whom sparks fly whether she is the best apprentice at the steel mill by day or performing as an exotic "flashdancer" by night. Or indeed having a relationship with her sleek boss, Nick Hurley, when she needs to throw her energies into her dreams of winning a place at Shipley Dance Academy to become a ballerina.

Well, musicals are allowed to be far fetched and this is farther fetched than most, and indeed it is played in that spirit by Chissick's cast, an effervescent, really well drilled ensemble determined to distract you from the paucity of the script. They embrace the title song's mantra to "take your passion and make it happen", proving you really can dance right through your life.

Given that the storyline is down the list of reasons you might want to see Flashdance, the emphasis is thrown on to the dance routines, the setpiece songs and the lead performances of 2016 Strictly Come Dancing champ Joanne Clifton and A1 boy-band graduate Ben Adams.

Clifton was superb as the rather more demure flapper Millie Dillmount in the thoroughly old-fashioned, gorgeous Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Grand Opera House in March: another American role, one that better suited her singing range, to go with her dazzling dance skills and natural warmth.

The rather more shrill, muscular songs of Flashdance are more of a stretch, although the more restrained numbers fit her well, but once again her dancing is fab-u-lous, a catherine wheel of explosive movement that never fizzles out, to match Alex's tomboy resilience.

Ben Adams embraces the naff Eighties, suit sleeves rolled up in that awful period fashion folly, and his singing has a smoothness and timbre that echoes the soul style of Michael Jackson. Around them, Hollie-Ann Lowe's Gloria and Matt Concannon's CC strive to take the musical to its dark side, and I Love Rock And Roll kicks butt, but for all the buckets of energy, Flashdance is the least satisfying of the three F musicals this year.

Coincidence or not, the infamous "water drop" scene is a damp squib, gone in a flash splash, and rather than What A Feeling, the overall impact is more a case of What An Empty Feeling.

Flashdance, The Musical, Grand Opera House, York, until Saturday, 7.30pm and 2.30pm tomorrow and Saturday. Box office: 0844 871 3024 or at atgtickets.com/york