Burn The Floor, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury - review
There was a standing ovation at Theatre Severn for Sunday's high energy dance show Burn The Floor, featuring 2018's Strictly Come Dancing pro champion Kevin Clifton, and it was well deserved.
I have seen several dance shows but never one like this, it hit top gear in the first number and never let up for more than two hours... and this was their second show of the day.
Samba, jive, paso, modern, street, all styles were in the mix in a Las Vegas style show that blended turbo-charged ballroom action with glitzy costumes and more than a little sentiment.
Cheerful, chirpy Kevin from Grimsby was without doubt star of the show, though he did have strong competition from new Strictly pros Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe.
Kevin is so proud of his Strictly victory, his first after six years on the top-rated TV show, that he brought along the coveted glitterball to show the audience.
He also spoke frankly about how he nearly quit dancing in 2007 because he was disillusioned with competitive ballroom dancing and that it was only joining Burn The Floor (an American world touring show that pre-dates the Strictly revival) that ensured he kept dancing and eventually, like several Burn The Floor alumni, joined Strictly.
In one of several candid chats with the audience, Kevin also assured his fans that he would be back for the next series of Strictly despite some tabloid claims to the opposite.
He said that several of his closest friends had been "offered tens of thousands of pounds to say negative things about me" as his sometimes turbulent private life has made headlines.
In further emotive interludes South African dancer Johannes thanked the producers of Burn The Floor from taking him out of a township and into the spotlight, whilst Italian Graziano revealed that he had recently proposed to his fellow Burn The Floor dancer Giada Lini and she had said yes. They even danced together to the tune Burn For You to seal the deal.
Kevin's recent spell in the musical Rock of Ages suggest he is a frustrated rocker and he certainly seized the opportunity to take on the Robbie Williams role as he belted out Let Me Entertain You, one of several numbers he sang whilst dancing along with his tireless ensemble of top-flight hoofers.
A band and three singers supplied a soundtrack of songs made famous by the likes of James Brown, Prince, Led Zeppelin, Santana, Rag'n'Bone Man and Pharrell. Highlights included sexy Sicilian Graziano revealing those famous abs during a sultry Sex Machine routine, the Italian stallion then dueling with Kevin over Nancy Xu's expressive Carmen to a rap revamp of Bizet's operatic aria, and the final frenetic routine to the appropriately entitled Ballroom Blitz.
I just hope Theatre Severn staff can get the scorch marks off the stage...