The Last Tango

Karen Bruce, Vincent Simone, Flavia Cacace

Adam Spiegel

Grand Theatre, Blackpool

From 27 June 2016 to 02 July 2016

Review by David Upton

There’s a strong sense of sentiment about every step of this thoroughly entertaining production. And why not?

If it really does represent the last dance for two of TV Strictly’s brightest stars then Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace are going out on a high note, by using the language of dance to relate a story about a young couple’s love, life and loss. It might all make for the unlikeliest song and dance show imagined here in many a year, but it works on every level.

Vincentandflavia has become as much of a brand as any of TV’s dance stars, and working with director and co-choreographer Karen Bruce the pair have devised a narrative around a character George, rummaging through memorabilia in his attic and recalling his life.

It’s a doddle of a role for an old hand like Teddy Kempner, gazing down on dancing years that cover just about every movement and music style of the 20th century. A tightly-drilled team of eight dancers augment the storyline, and among them Rebecca Lisewski is also a confident vocalist. Matthew Gent is lead singer, comfortably embracing a mash-up of material ranging from Irving Berlin to Van Morrison.

But without actually swamping the show it’s obvious who tops the bill.

In their Argentinian Tango setpieces especially, Simone and Cacace are wordless exponents of this supercharged dance style, turning even its sometimes cartoon-like movements into erotically-charged choreography.

Their artistry is that they can make it look so easy, but in a sequence where they move a letter bearing bad news around the stage—and beneath their feet—you appreciate a meticulous attention to timing and detail which pretty well sums up the entire show.

That, and the fact that Flavia is in a backless red dress is about as good as it gets!

The Last Tango gets eight performances here—and probably a standing ovation at each one.