This lively new show shimmies its way into theatres, following in the footsteps of the hit BBC TV show of the same name. Lionel Blair and Jane McDonald are the hosts for the evening. They also sing a few songs, face the music and, yes, dance.
The first half is fairly slow paced as the dancers shuffle along- all teeth and smiles. The problem here is that there are too many long winded introductions and not enough uninterrupted dance scenes. When the dance numbers do appear, they seem too brief and rushed.
In Act two, Ben Hardwick and Emma Slater inject life into the proceedings by adding pure sex appeal with their exuberant, high energy moves. I could have watched them dance the Paso Double all night.
McDonald has such a lovely self deprecating wit that you cannot help but feel involved. She is an underrated singer too as she adds real emotion to anything she sings. Blair can still move across the stage elegantly, although he seems ill at ease when left to address the audience alone.
Strictly Dance Fever runners up Danny Last and Jodie Binsteed whip the audience into a frenzy with their lightening steps. The whole ensemble is excellent and they keep smiling even when breaking a sweat. Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag's choreography is wonderfully fresh and the cast clearly enjoy dancing their moves.
However, the structure of the show is loose and it is hard to put your finger on what it is actually is trying to be. Its appeal is based around a TV show and that is the main problem really. The piece itself is so televisual that you wonder why the audience has left the comfort of their own homes. There is also the odd moment when the show feels a bit end of the pier. Alan Harding's muddled direction means that many scenes end with a whimper rather than a cheer.
Overall, though, this is strictly ballroom - complete with glitter balls, lashings of cheesiness, and sexy dance moves. You may not be doing the salsa down the aisles on the way out but you will end up admiring this old fashioned form of dance far more than you imagined.