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Anton Du Beke and Giovanni Pernice—Him & Me!

Directed and choreographed by Alan Burkitt
Strictly Theatre Company
Peacock Theatre

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Anton Du Beke and Giovanni Pernice
Anton du Beke Credit: Strictly Theatre Company
Giovanni Pernice, Anton Du Beke and company Credit: Strictly Theatre Company
Anton Du Beke, Giovanni Pernice and company Credit: Strictly Theatre Company
Giovanni Pernice Credit: Strictly Theatre Company
Giovanni Pernice, Anton Du Beke and company Credit: Strictly Theatre Company

Headlined by Strictly stars Anton Du Beke and Giovanni Pernice, this new edition of the show that launched last year kicks off a national tour with these London performances.

This is a fast-paced, high-energy show that presents dancer (and now judge) du Beke and current Strictly champion Pernice not just as dancers but as singers and as a comedy pair with a light touch, they even don drag for a fan dance “Sisters”!

There is one number for Anton that is classic Come Dancing ballroom, beautifully executed, but Alan Burkitt’s choreography is a musical theatre mixture that embraces everything from Charleston and tap to exotic hispanic, a sequence of 1940s number with a World War Two theme (including boogie and Andrews Sisters close harmony) and a strong dash of Fosse inspired action (complete with the hats and the chairs) all stylishly executed.

Not just the stars but the whole company seem glitterball-worthy and Anton and Giovanni don’t hog all the limelight. It’s not all Me and Him, lots of other individual talent gets showcased. Sadly, the programme doesn’t give credits for specific numbers but these performers are top notch.

There is a simple set of a curtained bridge with Jose Lorenzo’s lighting providing colour and adding drama and the uncredited band sounds good though vocal miking could improve on its clarity for lyrics are often lost, though many of the songs will be familiar.

Pernice and du Beke have an easy rapport with an audience who were clearly Strictly fans, but this is a show that makes a good night out for anyone who likes watching high-energy, high calibre dancing. It isn’t just the costumes that glitter, they all do.

Reviewer: Howard Loxton