Brendan Cole: All Night Long – UK TOUR (Review)

Brendan Cole: All Night Long (UK tour )

New Theatre, Oxford

★★★★

Brendan Cole: All Night Long

New Theatre, Oxford

Seen November 5th, 2018 

Reviewed by Jade Prince 

★★★★

If you watch Strictly Come Dancing religiously, then Brendan Cole is a familiar name in your household. I like to think he warmed your hearts every Saturday night…that was until he got the boot! 

He is still doing what he loves however he isn’t static anymore. Brendan is now touring the UK with his very own show. A show you can see he has put his all into. Dazzling the audience with the classic dance genres you’d expect, from the Rumba to American Smooth to Jive with fabulous vocals and a 13-piece band to accompany. 

This is not a show I would have normally considered seeing. That being said, I really enjoyed it. It started off a little shaky and I was sat there thinking, “Oh! What have I done? Why am I here?”, but it did not take long for Brendan to convert me! Yes, the opening number was shaky. There was a near miss on stage when the spacing went out the window and a rather anticlimactic quick change. But the show itself was very much like a great red wine, it got better with time. Each number topped the one before. 

It definitely was not the set up I was expecting. I very much thought I’d be watching group dance, after group dance, after group dance. Obviously, it was very dance based, its a dance show! But it was split into bitesize sections and kept the audience engaged. It was a continuous change of solos, duet work, vocal performances and extravagant group numbers. 

The choreography was incredibly varied. Occasionally, from my limited experience of watching live dance, the steps can feel very repetitive from number to number. Not in this show. I’d say that no style of dance neighboured a similar style of dance in this line up. My favourite dance of the night had to be the Argentine Tango to ‘Skyfall’. It was mesmerising and a stunning demonstration of dreamy teamwork between Brendan and Faye Huddleston

In between the dance numbers brought a more intimate vibe to the show. Just the audience and Brendan. The script was cheesy in places however the sass it what killed me! It was vicious but delivered in such a  nonchalant way. 

Certain numbers where the music worked better with the addition of the lyrics as a pose to the backing track saw Ian Mackenzie and Jenna Lee-James came into play. I was very impressed with these two. Their vocals were on point and suited every style. It was a really nice touch to have breaks in the show for the dancers where both Ian and Jenna could have their own moments to shine. 

Aside from the couple of messy legs, it was a really enjoyable night. If you love watching strictly as a family you need to come along and see this with them. A night of great entertainment. Mr. Brendan Cole will surely warm your heart. 

Be sure to keep an eye out for Brendan’s new show which will be quickstepping its way across the UK in early 2019. Click here for tickets, venues and the latest information on “Brendan Cole Show Man Tour”

Whisper House – REVIEW

Whisper House
The Other Palace, London

Seen on May 22nd, 2017

★★★

Whisper House

The Other Palace, London

 

Seen on May 22nd, 2017

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★

From the creators of Spring Awakening, Whisper House is set in a lighthouse during World War 2. Christopher discovers something strange when he moves to live with his aunt after his father’s death and mother’s hospitalisation. The mysterious music and whispers have grown more prominent and Christopher knows something must be done.

The rock musical contains an awesome score with catchy tunes that will be stuck in your head and you’ll subconsciously be singing “better to be dead” as you leave.

Alongside this brilliant rock score the actual story line seemed a little lost. It was difficult to see how certain elements of the story were relevant. I feel that this was compensated for through the music and the cast stage presence. There was always something to look at whether that was the actions of the ghosts or the small illusions performed.

Niamh Perry and Simon Bailey stole the show as the two “ghosts” skulking around the stage. Both voices worked wonderfully together creating beautifully eerie presence. These ghosts are said to be seeking revenge and Niamh’s whimsical voice definitely hints at her character’s sinister side. This is helped by her costume (simple, long silk dress) and chilling glares.

A very simple set was used effectively and had different layers working down to the pit of the stage giving the illusion of the height of the lighthouse. Other elements worked very well in creating the feeling of being in New England during World War 2, such as worn and mismatched chairs and wooden floorboards covering the stage.

I personally really enjoyed the use of projection onto the back wall of the set. One of the projections that really stood out was the stair well and how well the actors were timed with the movement of the stairs themselves.

Overall this was an enjoyable show to watch and very captivating. It was very in keeping with The Other Palace’s theme of hosting quirky new productions.

Whisper House is currently at The Other Palace until May 27th. Tickets available at https://www.theotherpalace.co.uk/whats-on/whisper-house