Libby Bateman

Review: Dance 'Til Dawn @ Sunderland Empire

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Dance Til Dawn

Strictly Come Dancing stars Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace brought first class footwork and impeccable choreography, with a bit of humour thrown in, to The Sunderland Empire stage.

As expected, there seemed to be a lot of Strictly Come Dancing fans in the audience, as there was a massive cheer as both Vincent and Flavia entered the stage. The Strictly duo were definitely the stars of the show, you couldn’t keep your eyes off of them as they strutted around the stage with flawless dance moves and striking stage presence.

Flavia’s dancing is breathtaking, elegant, athletic and, overall, an absolute delight to watch. Vincent knows how to own the stage with his spotless footwork; together they are a stunning pair that continues to wow audiences with their immaculate tango routines.

During the show I often didn’t know where to look as the glamorous ensemble dance group set the scene with pinpoint choreography by Elliot Nixon. I can only begin to imagine how much work was put into perfecting that choreography and ensuring the ensemble were entirely in time with each other.

Dance ‘Til Dawn is not just about the much-loved duo’s dance steps, it also has a touch of humour, with some quirky one-liners provided by Teddy Kempner and Abbie Osman, as good-natured detective Tommy and glamour girl criminal Lana, bringing Bruce Forsyth’s Strictly-styled one liners to the stage.

The comedy was sometimes too much, as the dancing did the talking and told the love story perfectly. Lana also belts out, with her stunning voice, songs that take you right back to the 40s. The orchestra and other singers provided music from all eras, including Moon River and Feeling Good.

The performance was fast-paced with slick set changes incorporating the dancing into the change of scenes. Morgan Large’s set was very subtle but effective, allowing the main feature of the show, the dancing, to shine.

Dance ‘Til Dawn takes you back to the Golden Age of Hollywood Dance with a sweet love story between the leading lady, Sadie Strauss, and her lover, Tony DeLuca, played by the Strictly duo. Leading man Bobby Burns is murdered and Lana causes the pair to be separated by framing Tony DeLuca to cover herself.

They tango their way out of trouble and into each other’s arms at the end, with an exceptional performance that even Craig Revel Horwood would have awarded them a ten for. It was truly breathtaking and finished off the show perfectly. Vincent blew a cheeky kiss to the audience before he left the stage at the end, leading to a massive cheer from the females in the audience.

Dance ‘Til Dawn, The Sunderland Empire Theatre, February 17-21, tickets £12.90-£47.90

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