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Here Come The Boys at the London Palladium | Review

There’s repeated use of video technology in Here Come The Boys, and I couldn’t help wondering if it might have been better to extend its use to interviews with the dancers. Instead, brief conversations are held after a large amount of energy has been expended performing a dance routine. I suppose the show’s target audience may find something quite alluring about a man articulating his thoughts while breathing heavily. An attempt at audience interaction quickly became meaningless when a ‘scream-o-meter’ style audience vote didn’t result in the person for whom the crowd cheered the loudest actually winning a round in a supposed ‘battle’. The whole thing was like one of those ‘competitions’ at school that is rigged in such a way that everyone wins something.

Here Come The BoysBass6 (or Rupert Oldridge, according to his LinkedIn profile) opens proceedings with an impressive round of beatboxing, which continues periodically throughout the entire evening, and not always adding much to the recorded music. (And if anyone was in any doubt as to whether the music was pre-recorded, Bass6 introduced more than one dance sequence with, “All I have to do is press ‘Play’”.) He moves enthusiastically enough but as he shares a stage with up to a dozen professional dancers at any one time, whatever he was doing ranged from coming across as casually fitting into performing something close to an embarrassing dad dance.

It was perhaps inevitable that BBC Television’s Strictly Come Dancing would be referenced – Bass6, wisely, decided to get it out of the way early. Strictly is, to be blunt, more progressive than this production – one may have been forgiven for thinking that something called Here Come The Boys just might have same-sex dancing duos. Spoiler alert: nope. Still, everything is performed to a high standard, even an entire sequence themed around TikTok, which was all part of the ‘something for everyone’ appeal of the show.

It’s an attack on the senses at times, with a bass line occasionally so strong I found myself listening to the music with my chest – when the lights came up for the interval, a good number of the ‘do not sit here’ social distancing signs draped over the theatre’s seats had been displaced. The lighting is impressive, combining with the pulsating rhythms to give the production a nightclub atmosphere.

I can hardly protest about the sheer amount of dancing in a dance show. Some of it does start to get repetitive, however. There are only so many times I can be bowled over by one of the ‘boys’ picking up one of the women and spinning them around at turbo speed. There is no build-up at all here, as the show begins with a red-hot, rapid-paced sequence, leaving it nowhere to go but to maintain the tempo, save for a rhumba section in the second half.

It’s also a show that repeatedly tells the audience to stand up for the finale until it does so, which I found a slight pity, as the unassuming opening night crowd might well have risen to their feet at the end of their own accord, and therefore the standing ovation at curtain call would have felt more deserved. Some lively and dynamic performances from a committed cast, but sometimes less is more, and I wonder if fewer themes explored in more depth may have made the production more engaging.

3 Star Review

Review by Chris Omaweng

Here Come The Boys features four superstar ‘Kings of Dance’ and plays the London Palladium for a 10-day celebration of dance. STRICTLY dance superstars Aljaž Škorjanec, Pasha Kovalev, Graziano di Prima, Robin Windsor, along with Strictly finalist Karim Zeroual, will be joined by special guest star Strictly’s stunning Nadiya Bychkova. Featuring a cutting-edge soundtrack of dance-floor anthems, club classics and guilty pleasures, ‘Here Comes the Boys’ is ready to kick off the return of live theatre in London’s West End. Join Aljaž, Pasha, Graziano, Robin, Karim and Nadiya, alongside a spectacular ensemble of international dancers, in this show-stopping dance extravaganza, which promises to be the biggest party in town!

Thu 27 May 2021 – Wed 9 June 2021
The London Palladium


1 thought on “Here Come The Boys at the London Palladium | Review”

  1. We loved every moment of this fantastic show. Thank you for best evening ever. ♥️

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