Tag Archives: Karen Bruce

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: www.thereviewshub.com

REVIEW: The Bodyguard – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

This review was originally written for and published by http://www.thepublicreviews.com at: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/the-bodyguard-kings-theatre-glasgow/

For a night of pure unadulterated entertainment then audiences need look no further than The Bodyguard, currently playing at The King’s Theatre in Glasgow.

Based on the 1992 Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner box office hit of the same name, Alexander Dinelaris has taken Lawrence Kasdan’s movie script and turned it into a glitzy and glamorous musical theatre thriller, replete with the 80s and 90s pop hits and power ballads of the late Whitney Houston.

Pop diva Rachel Marron (Alexandra Burke), reluctantly hires a bodyguard (Stuart Reid) when she receives disturbing threats from an obsessed stalker (played here with convincing menace by Mike Denman). The initial frostiness between the superstar and her minder thaws and blossoms into an affair, but as their guard drops, danger is still lurking in the shadows.

The show is played out on a spectacular set by Tom Hatley where projections, sliding screens and pyrotechnics are utilised to great and glamorous effect. Indeed the cleverness and slickness of the design adds to the classiness of the whole affair. The thriller element too, adds a different and welcome dimension to the show that sets it in its own little niche apart from the usual musical theatre fodder. The direction by Thea Sharrock is brisk and has a filmic quality and the whole narrative moves along apace.

Pocket rocket Alexandra Burke proves to be the biggest surprise of the evening, it is to Burke’s credit and a show of her commitment to the role, that, on initially being offered it, she turned it down in order to embark on a series of acting lessons, and it certainly has paid off here. She maintains a convincing American accent throughout and displays both convincing toughness and vulnerability as it is required. She also has an appealing warmth, that despite portraying the diva, makes you root for her throughout. At encore too she seems genuinely appreciative of the reception she gets from the audience.

Burke is more than ably supported by her fellow cast members. In particular Stuart Reid as bodyguard Frank, who is an oasis of calm and strength in the middle of an ocean of madness, and who also provides some hysterical comedy moments, and Melissa James as sister Nicki who is in possession of a beautiful crystal clear singing voice.

It ain’t rocket science, but if it’s an evening of thrills and chills and great music from a first rate cast who give their all your looking for, then this can’t come more highly recommended.

Runs until Saturday 14 March 2015 then touring