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”

Masters of Choreography: Beats on Pointe – REVIEW

Masters of Choreography: Beats on Pointe 

Peacock Theatre, London

★★★

Masters of Choreography: Beats on Pointe

Peacock Theatre, London

 

Seen on February 20th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★

I wanted to love this show so much due to its unique collaboration of two drastically different dance styles.

Beats on Pointe is the creation of Masters of Choreography which has been very successful in Australia and now pirouetting its way over to London. This dance show brings street dance and ballet to the same stage to demonstrate how dance styles worlds apart can be brought into the same space.

I was very excited reading about this show and believed that it would have great potential. However these initial thoughts were soon put away once the show had begun.I didn’t hate the show. I thought that the majority of the dancing was beautiful and it was very nice to watch but I did want to see more ballet. I’m a sucker for a bit of ballet! Especially pointe work.

I didn’t like the comedy sketches thrown in between. I appreciate that the dancers need a break in between energetic numbers but there are ways to do it. A bit of well written comedy here and there is greatly welcomed however a lot of this was bordering on the type of material that you would see at a holiday village like Butlins. It was rather cringeworthy.

A lot of stories were presented through different numbers, some less obvious than others with some really in your face. There were a few which felt incredibly cheesy, the old couple, and I personally found that detracted from the enjoyment of the dancing.

The first act didn’t really seem to have a direction. There was no real story moving from dance to dance. Actually, the whole show didn’t really have an overall story. Well, not one that I could see. Act one consisted of a lot of the cheesy audience participation i. e. “How are you doing tonight, London?” and then there was this one section I wish I could have heard more of. The section, which I shall title the “stomp inspired section” was beautiful! I could hear all the beats they were making however I feel amplifying that sound would have really benefited and made it consistent with the rest of the music. Everything else was very loud and then all of the sudden it went very quiet. It would have been great to have those beats ripping through the theatre!

A few of the other elements thrown into act one seemed redundant. I can’t fault the talent from the drummer and singer but it didn’t fit in with the rest of the show. Evidently just a filler.

Something which was bugging me throughout the show was the timings. Timing is key in dance and there were a few of the female dancers who seemed to be a beat behind the others in a lot of the routines. Although in the much faster, street dance sections the timing was there and everything was so incredibly precise!

It was rather nice how they experimented with the use of lights within the costume. This produced a very nice effect on stage.

The second act got a lot better and lost all the unneeded comedy which was nice. My only criticism of the second act (along with the timing which occurred throughout the show) was how rushed it felt. There were no real pauses in between the dances or any scene/sound transitions. As soon as one group finished performing the next ran straight out.

The majority of it was great to watch and of which I really enjoyed. If they removed all the ‘cheese’ I would probably go back to see it. I really appreciate the amount of work those dancers put into that show every single night. Its just a shame that it hasn’t found the way to utilise all of its potential.

Beats on point is running until February 24th at the Peacock theatre.

For more information about the show and for tickets, head to: https://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2018/masters-of-choreography-beats-on-pointe/