REVIEW: The Last Tango – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

The Last Tango, the theatrical swan song from much-loved dancing duo Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace is more tear-jerking goodbye than a celebratory farewell.

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A musty attic stores a lifetime’s worth of treasured memories. As the dust is blown off, we travel back in time to relive the story of a couple, unnamed, but very much in love.

Beginning in the 30s, the journey takes us through most of the 20th Century, and we are treated along the way to a raft of classic tunes and the gloriously choreographed dances that accompany them. From standards such as Beyond the SeaBoogie Woogie Bugle Boy, a show-stopping At Last (sung beautifully by Matthew Gent) to Moondance and Save The Last Dance for Me, there’s enough variety musically and choreographically to highlight the considerable skills of the dancing duo and keep the interest levels high throughout.

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However, despite all the quality on show, there’s a niggling feeling that there’s something missing. Cacace and Simone are undoubtedly two of the world’s finest dancers and when they are onstage the auditorium comes alive. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the ensemble, apparently a man down, they looked less than sharp at times and the imbalance showed unfavourably on stage. The set also lacks the visual interest and innovation of the duo’s previous shows and despite the large stage at the Theatre Royal, it looks cramped.

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The narrative too has moments that lack clarity but the sheer quality of Cacace and Simone’s footwork renders the storyline secondary to the dancing.

One might have wished for a more celebratory tone to wish this beloved pair all the best for their future endeavours, what we get is the most tear-jerking of endings with audience members throughout the auditorium genuinely sobbing.

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Five stars for Cacace and Simone but for the narrative and the show as a whole, three and a half stars.

Runs until Saturday 5 December 2015 | Images: Manuel Harlan

Review originally written for and published by:

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