Director: Karen Bruce
Choreographers: Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace
Designer: Morgan Large
Reviewer: Laura Stimpson
Leeds’ Grand Theatre is the last stop on this year’s tour of Midnight Tango the latest venture of Strictly Come Dancing favourites Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace. A large scale show based around tango and only tango is a brave undertaking by producers Arlene Phillips and Adam Spiegel, but thanks to this incredibly skilled cast is certainly is a risk worth taking.
From the opening scene we are transported to a downtown Buenos Aires bar where we are introduced to bickering bar owners Carlos (Anthony Renshaw) and Rose (Tricia Deighton), they immediately add a little tongue in cheek humour, setting the audience at ease, a very welcoming start to the show. A very talented, authentic Latin band, Tango Siempre arrive on stage, there is a beautiful violin solo from Ros Stephen before the band come in to full swing, setting the scene for the rest of the evening. Much credit should be given to this superb band, they are on stage for the duration of the show and give a faultless, energetic performance throughout.
In true tango style the simple storyline combines elements of passion, love and jealousy. Lead characters Pablo (Vincent Simone) and Sofia (Flavia Cacase) are clearly in love, butwhen El Gator (Diomar Firaldo) arrives, Pablo has a rival for Sofia’s attention. A parallel storyline runs between bar owners Carlos and Rose, they are a typical bickering older couple injecting some much needed humour throughout, they watch the young lovers with envy until we see their own relationship flourish through the love of dance.
The cast of 12 all give outstanding performances, but stand out performance of the night, maybe unsurprisingly, goes to Flavia Carcase. This lady was born to Tango, even among this stage of highly trained and fantastic dancers she exudes star quality and stage presence. Vincent and Flavia’s performance in this show far surpasses anything they’ve ever had the chance to showcase on the BBC show, their performances are passionate, captivating, highly skilled and simply breathtaking.
There are clear limitations to a stage show focused purely around tango; the set does not change, and there are no spoken words, communication is purely through the music and dancing. However, this cast and musicians are incredible, each and every member provides a faultless performance and draw everything they possibly can out of this limited storyline. Midnight Tango won’t be the most interesting show you’ve ever seen, but the dancing is truly magical and could not disappoint even the harshest critic.