Monday, 9 February 2015

Review | VINCENT AND FLAVIA DANCE 'TIL DAWN (UK Tour) February 2015

After a hugely successful tour and West End residency, stars of Strictly Come Dancing, Vincent and Flavia return to the regional stage with style. Their trademark Argentinian Tango leaps into the golden age of Hollywood dance, film-makers putting them on the silver screen. Far from the late night bar of Buenos Aires - the setting of previous hit Midnight Tango, the formidable pair take to the stage in 1940's L.A. as Sadie Strauss (Cacace) and Tony Deluca (Simone) - the romantic leads of a comedy about a beautiful starlet and her handsome beau.

Narrator Teddy Kempner is a familiar face in the Strictly duo's shows - here he plays Tommy Dubrowski whose humour is both witty and welcome between dramatic dance numbers. The gags can be cheesy but fit in with the exaggerated theme. There is excellent narration within the choreography - however, Kempner is expert at breaking up the already succinct action with excellent comic timing. 

Abbie Osmon is Lana, who must get her hands on incriminating photographic evidence of her fling with Bobby Burns - the man Sadie is contracted to make films with... Osman, a natural powerhouse raises the roof with impressive vocals in her own take on recognisable classics such as That's Life. 

The Strictly duo are effortless in rhythm, pace and finesse, completely at one with the soundtrack - the perfect blend of 'tangoed' favourites such as Moon River, Stand By Me and more recent hits Paolo Nutini's Pencil Full Of Lead, Caro Emerald's That Man and Bruno Mars' Runaway Baby is a great, high-energy climax to Act I. The live band are excellent - they can pack a punch and set a serene scene - the perfect accompaniment to Oliver Darley's musical interludes. 

A dynamic ensemble master all aspects of the piece co-choreographed by the Strictly professionals and Karen Bruce, who also directed. A highlight is Cacace's routine without Simone but with the male ensemble - leaping from a  staircase with wild abandon, she tears across the dance floor and is simply, strictly thrilling.  

There is a rustic, seemingly simplistic set by Morgan Large, who, as always ensures a surprise element from a gorgeous, clever design that transports you from the likes of a bustling film studio to a glamorous swimming pool bar and to a dowdy office in a mere instance. 

At times you loose yourself in the dance show that could quite easily be a West End musical. This show is packed full of every element that makes a perfect night at the theatre. 

View the shows trailer:

Dance 'Til Dawn is at Birmingham New Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 14 February. Book tickets here

Cast List: Flavia Cacace, Vincent Simone, Oliver Darley, Teddy Kempner, Abbie Osmon, Faye Best, Tyman Boatwright, Callum Clack, Ivan De Freitas, Ben Harris, Rebecca Lisewski, Jemima Loddy, Ian Oswald, Giovanni Spanó, Danny Stowell, Lauren Stroud, Lindsey Tierney, Gemma Whitelam. 

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