Sunday, 8 February 2015

'Strictly Come Dancing Live!' The o2 Arena ****

Can a touring production grounded on a televised format be considered as a theatrical experience on an extensive scale? The eighth nationwide tour of the BBC entertainment extravaganza, ‘Strictly Come Dancing Live!’ can be emphatically deliberated as such an experience, with whimsical performances across all areas of the show.

‘Strictly Come Dancing Live!’ emulates an identical chronicle as the television show, but within a three hour performance, that finishes with an eventual winner lifting the glitter ball trophy. This year the tour stars, Caroline Flack, Alison Hammond, Rachel Stevens, Thom Evans, Simon Webb, Mark Wright and Scott Mills, alongside Strictly Come Dancing’s very own professional dancers even Iveta Lukositue, Tristan MacManus, AljaĆŸ Skorjanec, Joanne Clifton, Kevin Clifton, Kristina Rhianoff, Karen Hauer and Tristan Whiddon. Over the course of the production, they have to present two dances to not only 10,000 audience members, but to the judging panel that consists of, Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman, Camilla Dallerup and Tom Chambers, who then score the dances, as like on the television show. The performance is hosted by series three finalist, Zoe Ball, with electrifying music by Allan Rogers. Of course, as you would expect from the Strictly Come Dancing experience, Craig Revel Horwood, and his fellow judges constantly banter with one another due to Craig’s harsh comments, and at certain dances, it’s extremely understandable; such as Scott Mills' disgraceful Samba. On the other hand, there is a euphoric reaction when dances obtain the maximum score of 40 points, in which this current Strictly champion Caroline Flack, and her touring partner Tristan MacManus received for their charming Charleston. There's an essence of emotion from Rachel Stevens and Kevin Clifton’s raunchy Rumba, and Simon Webb and Kristina Rihanoff’s atmospheric Argentine Tango. It's pleasant and daring when the judges dance  on the floor, as seen with Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup’s 2008 Showdance, which was the dance that launched him them to victory in the sixth series. There is a clear and crisp narrative during this touring tour de force, as one can see that the winner can be any of the competitors, depending on the audience it that is in the arena, and the performance, in which one was witnessing was won by the tragic Scott Mills, and his poor dance partner Joanne Clifton.

One found the performances by the company of ‘Strictly Come Dancing Live’ with vastly glistening in all aspects of the show. The group dances conveys a powerful camaraderie between them; especially the “Let It Go” dance number where ensemble dancer/aerialist, Jasmine Takacs is hoisted above the dancefloor, in a 50ft dress, which is the site to behold. The ensemble dancers, Gordana Grandosek Whiddon, Jake Leigh and Callum MacDonald contribute effectively to the Strictly family as a way that magnifies a musical theatre twist to the show.

Craig Revel Horwood’s direction is shiny here as he has been able to transport a gigantic of number amount of people into the Strictly Come Dancing atmosphere, with a fruitful outcome, furthermore, it is tacky, but in a good way. Patrick Doherty’s design is excellent as the set is an exact replica to the set that is recognisable to the millions of viewers who watch the show on BBC1 on a Saturday night and it's definitely a magnificent representation of the Strictly Come Dancing environment. Overall, one found the experience of ‘Strictly Come Dancing Live!’ to be a brilliant one that absorbs you into the TV phenomenon. Go and see it next year when it tours the country. 

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