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”