Saturday, 16 February 2019
REVIEW: Brendan Cole: Show Man - Lighthouse, Poole.
Strictly Come Dancing Star, Brendan Cole, has begun his 5th UK tour: Show Man! Including tunes from the new hit musical, The Greatest Showman, Cole’s performance follows the birth of show business taking us right back to old fashioned theatre. With a live band, 7 stunning dancers, a local choir and, Brendan Cole himself; this show is an absolute sensation. Directed, produced and choreographed and presented by Cole, you might wonder if this man ever sleeps.
Each dance had its own individual and beautiful story written by Cole. This made for an endearing and heartfelt eclectic mix, from love stories, to the profound adventure of his daughter’s childhood. This dance, Cinderella’s Story, was perfect. Cole’s performance was magical and I was able to resonate as he reminded me of my own father. The slow ballroom was poignant and when a young girl, Anya, stepped on stage to dance with Cole I felt the hairs on my arms stand up. In his performance it became clear how much this performance meant to him, and I felt honoured to watch the story unfold.
Cole presented the show, whilst also performing in it, which may seem impossible. But, actually, it made for a more organic performance and allowed him the chance to tell the stories behind a few of his favourite dances. It also meant he ran on a few times still doing up his tie, but this was some how charming. The show was by no means flawless, but it felt natural and Cole’s commentary was charismatic and his cheesy humour was particularly alluring. Along with his chiselled physique, I would have been surprised if there was anyone in the audience who wasn’t in love with him by the end of the show. This explains the close knit relationships of the cast which really brought the show together. Ever member of that cast had a love for performing and a love for each other.
Undoubtedly, the costumes in ‘Show Man’ were striking. The three female dancers held magnificent material wings dotted with firefly lights, extending their arms and allowing your eyes to follow their graceful flow and movement. The use of drapes was a gorgeous touch and added mystery to the performance. And my favourite part, the capes. The capes used in ‘Live And Let Die’ were truly magic. Their strong movement and swirl captivated the audience and increased the passion and desire of the piece.
The choreography of the show was faultless. Every dance fitted the song and every song fitted the story. And, the dancers brought Cole’s dream alive, creating romance, delicacy and beauty. Watching the men lifting the women above their heads and beginning to turn, I became lost in the heat, mesmerised. The elegance of every arm and every tilt was exquisite and each movement was deliberate, without exception.
Whether you are a 'Strictly' fan or not, this performance is brilliant and I can promise you, you will leave the theatre with a buzz! You simply must see Show Man!
Reviewer : Grace McNicholas
on - 15/2/19