Writer: Ed Curtis
Music: Chris Egan
Director: Karen Bruce
Reviewer: Katie Lee
The Strictly Come Dancing stars return in a follow up to their Midnight Tango tour with a new show capturing the golden age of Hollywood. This 1940’s romp through Vincent and Flavia’s favourite dances is housed in professional production with the romance of an LA film set.
Directed and co-choreographed by Karen Bruce, Dance ‘Til Dawn acts as a vehicle for the professional dancers to demonstrate their world class skills. Even to an amateur, Vincent and Flavia’s performance is crisp, elegant and stylish. The audience are ready to be impressed and are not disappointed, with regular applause and many standing when the curtain call arrives. With onstage singers and live music, the whole show has a cabaret feel. Smoky and sultry, with a strong film noir essence in design, the production oozes vitality and sex appeal.
The live band is essential and ever-present. After all, what is dancing without music? The performers all sing and dance to a high standard, with particular highlights in ‘Runaway Baby’ and ‘Moon River’, proving the cast’s versatility. Some of the song choices are hardly the most female-empowering, with the lyrics “I was on a shelf ’til a man came along” in ‘Stuff Like That There’, embodying a stark reminder of the era.
The plot is explained to the audience in a self-aware manner, with Teddy Kempner as the narrator, Tommy Dubrowski. This is amusing, as Kempner acknowledges sets being changed behind him and announces the running order in a convincingly dry fashion. The slapstick element wears thin at points, particularly in the case of repeated dialogue from Lana Clemenza, played by Abbie Osman. Some sequences are ridiculous, as is clearly the intention, with comedy sound effects arising from the pit and dancers leapfrogging in chase scenes. This jars slightly with the main focus of the piece, the dancing, and some changeovers from caricature to romance are overly quick.
With high waisted glamour for the women and wide leg suits for the men, Vicky Gill’s costumes are beautiful, functional and stylish. This production is West End standard, glossy and show-stopping. What it lacks in plot and character development is made up for in choreography, talent and entertainment. Every audience member knows what they are here for, and that is to watch the flawless pairing of Vincent and Flavia dance the night away. They will leave satisfied.
Runs until: 12th April