The years that Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone have gamely dragged hapless celebrities around the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom (although to be fair Flavia was 2012 champion with gymnast Louis Smith) have been justly rewarded with the kind of exposure that makes them bankable enough to headline another West End show, following hot on the heels of their last outing Midnight Tango.
This fun and thoroughly feelgood production, that doesn’t take itself at all seriously, is the perfect showcase for their superb dance skills and gives them the opportunity to expand beyond the discipline required by the competition circuit.
Set in 1940s Hollywood, the story is an entertaining one of love, murder and incriminating photographs, with Teddy Kempner showing a deft comic touch as the hardboiled private eye who acts as narrator. Ed Curtis’ book has some nice gags even if it does rely a little too much on metatheatre and in-jokes. But anyone who has come here for Pinteresque plot nuances has bought the wrong ticket. We’re here to see Vincent and Flavia dance and that they do to stunning effect with a mix of latin, ballroom and contemporary skills, and supported by a terrific team of dancers who are by no means in the shadow of the leads.
Songs are an eclectic mix from the catalogues of such luminaries as Leiber and Stoller, Newley and Bricuss and Bruno Mars, all beautifully sung by Oliver Darley and Abbie Osman, who is both delicious and ditzy as the story’s femme fatale Lana Clemenza.
The big finish is the duo’s speciality; an Argentine Tango of such speed and passion that I don’t think I breathed at all while it was going on.
Reviewed by Tony Peters
Dance ‘Til Dawn is booking at the Aldwych Theatre until 3 January 2015. Click here for tickets.