Co-Choreographers Karen Bruce, Flavia Cacace, Vincent Simone
Director: Karen Bruce
Reviewer: Ruth Gerrard
No one could predict back in 2004 that Strictly Come Dancing would become such a stalwart of family TV entertainment. Nor would anyone imagine that the show would make household names of so many of the professional dancers and lead to any number of spin-off theatre shows, TV presenting jobs etc, but boy are theatre-goers certainly glad that it did.
The Last Tango is the final instalment of a trilogy of shows starring two of Strictly’s most popular dancers – Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone. These two fox-trotted into the nation’s hearts as the dancers of the fiery Argentine Tango; one of the first couple’s to dance this complex, dramatic and full of passion dance on TV. Having already brought Midnight Tango and From Dance ‘til Dawn to the theatre, this new show is their swan song.
The story this time sees Teddy Kempner playing the older Vincent and remembering how he met his wife and the lifetime they spent together; creating memories and building a life together. This creates a vessel that makes the show work in a theatre setting and not just a dance demonstration. Stirring moments and the creation of elation on stage mean the two hours fly by and the audience become invested in the story also. Supported by a strong ensemble (many of whom have appeared in the couple’s two other shows) The Last Tango is a perfect close to the trilogy.
Simone leads Cacace round the stage with a confidence and presence that ensures she is shown off beautifully. The understanding between the pair comes from over 20 years of working together combined with great choreography and consideration of what it takes to create a perfect pairing. Beautifully lit (James Whiteside) and with stunning costumes, the couple can hold a theatre in the palm of their hands with ease.
Showcasing the Rhumba and the Waltz among others as well as the Tango, those who are missing the pair from Saturday night television are treated to a full show that is breathtakingly fast and technically far and away superior to anything you will see on Strictly; the last tango of the show will leave you holding your breath and wishing it would just go on forever. It is easy to see why these two have been among other things; World Argentine Tango Show champions.
Ending on a high note is something that has been achieved here and no doubt fans will want more but it is hard to see how Cacace and Simone could better this in terms of producing a theatre show that appeals to fans but also offers something to a more casual observer. Hopefully there is more to come from these two in the world of entertainment as the UK certainly seems to have fallen in love with the Argentine Tango.
Runs until 14 November 2015 | Photo: Manuel Harlan