Best known as one of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers, Brendan Cole has brought his second music and dance show on tour, stopping off at the Lowry. With a live band and a team of five dancers plus Mr Cole, the scene is set for an evening of entertainment.
The dancers, Melanie Hooper, Patrick Helm, Crystal Main, Scott Cole and Fauve Hautot are all highly skilled and talented. Each is given a chance to shine and use it to great effect in such various dances as the Samba and the Tango. Miss Hautot, as leading lady to Mr Cole, has a Gallic sensuality to her movement and a natural magnetism when on stage.
However the show is no staid demonstration of the various dances that we have come to know through Strictly and the Girls (The Locomotion) verses the Boys (Feeling Good) is immense fun. But we do get to see such classics as the American Smooth and Viennese Waltz through to the vibrancy of the Paso Doble and a breathtaking cape dance. Mr Cole makes a charismatic host to the evening, and his introductions between dances have more of a feel of a conversation than a scripted requirement.
The band, under Musical Director Barry Robinson, and the two powerhouse vocalists Julie Maguire and Iain Mackenzie provides stunning live music backing for the choreographed routines and the banter between Mr Cole and Mr Robinson is a nice touch.
If you don't like dance and/or Strictly Come Dancing then this may not convert you, but for those of us who love both, then Brendan Cole's Licence To Thrill does just that and is an ideal opportunity to see spectacular dances performed live by impressive dancers.
- Helen Jones