Director: Karen Bruce
Reviewer: Natasha Hegarty
With Strictly Come Dancing fever in full swing, former show favourites Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace take to the stage for their very last show. The Last Tango follows the equally successful Midnight Tango and From Dance ‘til Dawn and this one is beautiful from beginning to end.
The fiery Latin dances lend themselves easily to explosive and feisty performances but, on the whole, this show isn’t like that. Instead, they tell a rather touching story in a very sweet way. The wonderful Teddy Kempner playing an older Simone going through his attic full of memories and remembering how he met Cacaceis quite a unique touch. It makes the show more of a theatre performance rather than just a dance display and, although he doesn’t say much, his actions really do speak volumes.
Olivier Award nominee Morgan Large’s set design lends itself to more of a play – the attic is set out in one corner on two floors – but it brings something unique to a dance show. Vicky Gill’s costume design fits in wonderfully with the war-time era, composed of some of the most beautiful dresses for the ladies.
The story follows the couple through their life and there are moments when it gets rather emotional as it’s brave enough to touch on tougher times too. One of the most poignant sections of the show is where he is sent off to war and the couple write letters to each other. The routines that follow are stunning and this is where it gets a lot more intense. The ensemble’s wartime swing performance is excellent and has the audience clapping and singing along. The stars are helped along by a very talented ensemble cast, who help tell the story and turn their hand easily from the Latin to the Ballroom dances.
Co-choreographer and director, Olivier Award winner Karen Bruce, has done an outstanding job combining the story with pure dance. There is a perfect balance between the theatrical moments in the attic, large group numbers and the duets between Simone and Cacace.
Live singer Matthew Gent is fantastic and adds an extra layer to the show, singing classics such as Beyond the Sea and Save the Last Dance. Simone and Cacace’s Viennese Waltz set to his version of Etta James’ At Last is an emotional moment in the show and a stunning routine.
There’s highlight after highlight in The Last Tango. The pair’s famous Argentine Tango to close the show is breathtaking and easily the best dance.
After 20 years of performing together they have a fabulous chemistry that is breathtaking and an absolute joy to watch. It’s only a shame that this is their swan song. The standing ovation isn’t a surprise and is well deserved.
Runs until 28 November 2015 | Image: Manuel Harlan