Tag Archives: Robin Windsor

REVIEW: Keep Dancing – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Strictly Come Dancing alumni Robin Windsor and Anya Garnis, along with special guest star, 2012 series winner and Olympian Louis Smith, bring together over a century’s worth of dance styles in ballroom highlights show, Keep Dancing.

Undoubtedly selling tickets on the back of the popularity of the BBC’s flagship dance behemoth Strictly, the show demonstrates the diversity of dance in the UK in 2016. From the Charleston, through the golden era of Hollywood, to the Jitterbug and Lindy Hop and on through the century to Hip Hop with some Latin and Disco thrown into the mix, there’s virtually no dance style left unexplored. Interspersed with solos from the trio of vocalists, the production charges along at a fair lick.

Robin Windsor’s warmth and personality shine through as well as his considerable skill as a dancer, Anya Garnis is the consummate professional and the ensemble as a whole are a talented bunch, but there are moments when execution could have been tighter and the overall effect of the group dances was diminished due to sloppy execution. A highlight of the night is the all-male Paso led by Windsor, delivering a fresh take on a well-worn genre.

The vocalists are of varying quality with Lisa-Marie Holmes impressing the most, particularly in her rendition of Stormy Weather, in contrast, Adam Warrington had more than the hint of cruise ship crooner and suffered from tuning issues throughout. He more than made up for any shortcomings, with an impressive display of self-confidence.

In a show bursting with physical energy, there’s an overriding feeling of flatness throughout, the show would benefit from a compère to ramp up the excitement in between numbers and prevent the sluggish transitions. The set, though simplistic, reads well from the auditorium and the use of curtain drops, flags and colourful lighting ensure a variety of moods and atmospheres.

While entertaining enough, it’s more functional rather than fab-u-lous. Only for the most die-hard Strictly fans.

Runs until 29 October 2016 | Image: Contributed

This review was originally published at:http://www.thereviewshub.com/keep-dancing-theatre-royal-glasgow/

REVIEW: Puttin’ On The Ritz – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Taking as its inspiration the early 20th century American songbook, and capitalising on the nation’s obsession with nostalgia, Puttin’ on the Ritz is billed as “a song and dance extravaganza” featuring almost 50 pieces of music from the Golden Age of Hollywood. With songs from the greatest of the greats: George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, the audience can’t claim they’ve been short changed on content.

Presented as a cabaret style review, the team of six vocalists and ten dancers deliver a whirlwind trip back in time accompanied by special guests, and Strictly Come Dancing favourites, Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor.

The production has toured previously but seems now considerably tighter than before: the core vocalists instead of having a guest singer, this time have guest dancers, and the production is all the better for it, if your regular vocalists are of a high quality why have more?

The sextet of singers are hugely experienced stage performers and do justice to these classic tunes. Ricky Rojas in particular striking a chord with the audience as the only cast member to go marginally off-script and break the fourth wall to encourage a sing-along in his numbers ‘Let There be Love’ and ‘Birth of the Blues’. Fans of Boardwalk Empire will also appreciate Adam Ellis’ almost Eddie Cantor like turn in his featured performances.

The choreography is also sharper this time around, particularly in ‘Anything Goes’, ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (if it Ain’t Got That Swing) and in the Cotton Club sequence, and as ever the onstage action is complemented by multiple, glamorous costume changes throughout. The dance interludes by Rihanoff and Windsor also deserve praise,  providing as they do a change of dynamic that punctuates the evening nicely.

Very much playing to its more mature target audience, it covers much the same ground that recent productions such as The Songbook of Judy Garland and musicals Top Hat and Anything Goes do, but it can be easily forgiven as who wouldn’t want the glorious music of Gershwin, Porter and Berlin ringing in their ears.

An undemanding but highly entertaining celebration of this magical music.

Runs until Sat 13th June 2015 then touring

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