Midnight Tango has danced back to the West End following its run at the Aldwych last year. And, though there's barely any narrative, what it lacks in drama it makes up for in dazzling spectacle.
The entire action rolls out in a Buenos Aires bar where Tango maestros Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace, of Strictly Come Dancing fame, take centre stage as two turbulent lovers whose passionate affair is under threat by the black-clad El Gato (Diomar Giraldo).
With his faultless tango steps El Gato places himself as a bitter nemesis to Vincent in their hunt for Flavia’s affections and this loose central plot is supported by ten other dancers who each express themselves through the art of tango.
The fact that every subtle emotion is conveyed through tango, from fierce rows to swooning moments of intimacy, is testament to the richness of the dance style. Tango and dance aficionados will adore it and the uninitiated could learn a thing or two, educational as it is.
When the Argentine government advertised in Europe for workers to help build the country at the turn of the 20th century men came in droves, but only two or three of every 100 immigrants were women so Buenos Aires became a heavily populated city where women were scarce.
From this social dilemma came the birth of tango as a way for frustrated Argentine men to court women. Men used to practice their steps together to hone their tango skills in order to flirt and attract female attention.
With this knowledge in hand the production makes all the more sense, acting as an imaginary window to a time and place where tango was all about survival of the fittest.
There’s a slightly hokey sub-plot involving the bar’s landlord Carlos, played tonight by understudy Anthony Renshaw (stepping in for the injured Russell Grant) and his wife Rosa (Tricia Deighton), in which the idea of growing old together lacks grace and is instead used to create cheap laughs – but overall the production manages this balance effectively.
Come on our hosted OUTING to Midnight Tango on 11 February 2013 and get a top-price ticket, a FREE drink and access to our EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A with the cast - plus signed posters for the first 20 bookers – all for the INCREDIBLE price of just £34.50!