After the sell-out tour in 2019 Here Come the Boys return to the stage at the Palladium from 25th May-9th June 2021. After this evenings performance, I can completely understand why it sold out. All of the main five male dancers have links with the Strictly Come Dancing series on BBC1, from the audience participation a couple of the men had their fan clubs in the auditorium.
Our evening began with introductions from the UK champion beatboxer Rupert Oldridge. This was the first time I have seen a beatboxer live and I was not certainly not disappointed. I could have listened to him all night. His passion and mixture of sounds added yet another layer of talent to the fantastic evening’s performance.
Playing the “wheel of doom” each dancer takes part in a dance-off round, judged by the audiences round of applause at the end of each dance. The fairness of the judging is somewhat questionable although not particularly relevant as it appears would be there as a structure more than the competition.
Aljaž Škorjanec, Pasha Kovalev, Graziano di Prima, Robin Windsor, along with Strictly finalist Karim Zeroual were joined by 2014-2015 world and european champion ballroom and latin dancer Nadiya Bychkova entertained the audience from the moment they danced onto the stage.
Zeroual led much of the evening’s performance and took a back seat in the dance-off competition. Although he is an extremely accomplished street dancer, which was apparent in the remarkable routines he performed with members of the dance crew. With an incredibly warm, cheeky persona, he was the perfect choice for this responsibility.
Kovalev and his dance partner Grace Cinque-White were remarkable in my opinion. In a couple of dance routines, I found I was mesmerised by the couple. You could see by their movements how in tune they were with one another. I am not a dance expert by any means though. Their incredible fancy footwork and exquisite dance routines were first class.
Costume designer Francis Campbell brought back glitz and glamour to the stage with a loud bang. The black velvet sequinned suits worn by the male cast members in one routine enriched the scene and added that awe to the stage as the costumes captured the lights and glittered brightening up the stage. With over a year of absence from live Theatre productions, it was such a joy to see all the magic and bling come alive filling the stage once again.
Director and choreographer Gareth Walker create many “wow” moments as the show develops. With the incredible dance routines ranging from the couple’s routine to the entire cast and ensemble performing together. a couple of routines when the entire cast is on stage there are two or three separate dance routines taking place. Walkers eye for such detail is amazing.
From the level of energy in the dancer’s performances, it was clear that they were only too glad to be back on stage doing what they love. What a remarkable night out. Huge congratulations to everyone involved in this fantastic production.
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Photos by Fiona Whyte for The TCB Group