Over the last twelve years, the BBC have brought Strictly Come Dancing into the homes of millions of people across the UK. The show is coming up to its 14th series and doesn’t seem to be losing any momentum, in an era where many talent and reality shows are struggling to stay afloat. One driving force in this success is without a doubt, the charismatic and extremely talented Brendan Cole.
A Night to Remember is the perfect evening for any Strictly fan. Energetic and cheeky, Brendan Cole takes the audience by the hand and leads them through a range of styles of dance, from salsa to samba. The way that Cole talks about each number leaves no doubt that meticulous care and love has gone into putting this show together, and it shines through clearly in the choreography.
The cast is electric. They know how to work an audience well and you are never out of things to watch. However, this was sometimes undermined, as I felt the way the stage was set up limited the dancers by restricting them to a rather small and strangely shaped dance floor. Nonetheless, they operate the space beautifully. A particular mention has to go to Ryan McShane who exploded onto the stage to lead the Lindy Hop number A Little Less Conversation, with such dazzling energy it was hard to keep your eyes off of him.
The atmosphere of the show is buzzing, with a phenomenal live band musically directed by the very talented Barry Robinson. Accompanying them are Iain Mackenzie and Julie Maguire, whose wonderful vocals and natural charisma marry beautifully with each dance number. That being said, the show definitely is at its best when the music is working alongside the dance rather than separate to it. Twice in the show we get numbers featuring only the singers and the band, and while both the musicians and vocalists are very impressive, it feels a little bit bare after having watched six dancers occupy the stage.
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This also goes for the Q+A section in Act Two. For the first few questions, it seemed like a nice way to make the show more personal and special for the audience, but by the end it felt a little bit unnecessary. Particularly because it seemed to be more of an excuse to make fun of certain Strictly colleagues, rather than a chance for Cole to answer questions about his career as a dancer. As a result, not even the very impressive Paso Doble (danced to the Bon Jovi classic Livin’ on a Prayer) could return us immediately to the pace the show had set in Act One. This was a shame, as for me the highlight of the show came just before the Q+A, with a beautiful Viennese Waltz to Cinderella, and it was a pity the momentum from that number wasn’t taken advantage of.
The choreography isn’t groundbreaking and you can expect a very similar style to what you see Cole do on Strictly Come Dancing. The show is called A Night To Remember and even if it may not be a night I remember for the rest of my life, between the band, the wonderful singers and the phenomenal dancing, you are guaranteed an excellent evening watching some incredibly talented people at their finest.
Review by Kara Alberts
BRENDAN COLE – A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
featuring a cast of 22 incredibly talented artists
Presented by Tony Clayman Promotions & PMB Presentations.
Brendan Cole Overview
Always a sell-out, Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole is once again set to dazzle audiences across the UK with his latest show A Night to Remember.
Brendan, one of Strictly Come Dancing’s most charismatic choreographers and performers, will host throughout as he leads his cast on a journey of music and dance in a spectacular night of theatrical entertainment.
Loaded with ballroom magic and Latin excitement, Brendan’s newest live music and dance extravaganza will be 2016’s must see show!
Sunday 21st February 2016
Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent
Sunday 6th March 2016
Opera House Manchester
Friday 25th March 2016
Milton Keynes Theatre