Strictly Speaking: Week 12

The semi-final offered up the two-dance challenge, which usually gives a strong indication of who’s ready for the final itself. But, in case you were in any doubt, the judges made their views very clear – i.e. no Chris under any circumstances! His (admittedly just OK) dances were given the full killing them with kindness treatment, the panel all but shoving him into a taxi while screaming “THE NORTH, GO GO GO!”.

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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Strictly Come Dancing 2019 semi-final: who danced it best? Kelvin Fletcher is the technical master across two dances

By this stage, our celebrities can handle one dance – but two? That separates the contenders from the pretenders, as Len Goodman used to say. Leading contender, and surely hot favourite for the trophy, is Kelvin Fletcher, who impressed in a starkly contrasting pair of numbers.

Read my full Telegraph article here

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End of the 2010s: BroadwayWorld’s Best Shows of the Decade

As the 2010s draw to a close, we thought we’d look back at all the incredible theatre of the past decade. What’s been your highlight? Here, BroadwayWorld reviewers share some of theirs!

Read the full BroadwayWorld article here

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Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer, Hampstead Theatre

We’ve had Chess the musical; now, here’s Chess the play. Tom Morton-Smith, who has experience wrestling recent history into dramatic form with the acclaimed Oppenheimer, turns his attention to the 1972 World Chess Championship in Reykjavík, in which American challenger Bobby Fischer battled the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky. The event gained outsize importance from the Cold War propaganda battle – the two men pawns in their countries’ games, and the match characterised as the lone hero versus the Soviet machine.

Read my full theartsdesk review here

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The Boy Friend, Menier Chocolate Factory

How ripping! A saucy French maid doing the Charleston with a handsome chap in tennis whites sets the scene for the most delightful escapism in town: Matthew White’s gossamer-light revival of Sandy Wilson’s 1953 love letter to the Roaring Twenties. It was once the third-longest-running stage musical, and boosted Julie Andrews’ career on Broadway.

Read my full BroadwayWorld review here

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Strictly Speaking: Week 11

Ah, Musicals Week – AKA Dressing-up Box Explosion 2: Wig Warz!. Pretty unsubtle work here from the Strictly producers and judges, with a clear division between sensible theme/dance matches and bizarre combos, and between sky-high quarter-final scores and mediocre ones. Add in bias in the show’s running order, plus the online system going down for a chunk of the voting time, and let those conspiracy theories run riot!

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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Strictly Come Dancing 2019, Musicals Week: Karim Zeroual’s technique stops the show – and finally locates Craig’s 10 paddle

Dancing a jive to Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat” might be unoriginal (it’s the fourth on Strictly so far), but it proved a perfect match for Karim Zeroual’s boundless energy – and gave us the first perfect score this series, with even panto villain judge Craig Revel Horwood unable to find fault.

Read my full Telegraph article here

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Strictly Fabulous

New Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse shares her thoughts on glamming up, learning to dance, and family time.

Read my full Dancing Times interview here

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REDD, Barbican

The recent development of hip-hop theatre has had a crucial advocate in company Boy Blue, formed by Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy and Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante. Their 2017 Blak, Whyte, Gray drew acclaim for its restrained, stylised and sophisticated drama, rather than relying on some of hip-hop’s more easily engaging qualities, and they now return to the venue where Boy Blue is an Artistic Associate with the even more formally challenging Redd.

Read my full Dancing Times review here

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Strictly Speaking: Week 10

So, there are flat post-Blackpool shows, and there’s…whatever this was. Barely one rung up from everyone calling in sick while still nursing their hangovers on the tour bus. We’re in the closing stages of hard-fought competition, and yet by far the highlight this week was Bruno Tonioli “singing”. I know!

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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