Strictly Confidential - Edinburgh Festival Theatre
* * *
The cool sophistication of Anton and Erin, the cheeky yet theatrical Brendan Cole, the Strictly Professionals leaving the celebs behind to show how it’s really done, and Vincent and Flavia’s superb Midnight Tango.
The latest high-energy show to burst out of the television show’s canon may have “Strictly” in the title, but it could easily be re-named The Lisa Riley Show.
The BBC programme is mentioned throughout – and professional dancers Natalie Lowe, Artem Chigvintsev and Ian Waite all feature heavily – yet there’s no getting away from the fact this is a vehicle for Riley to shine, through dancing, singing or simply telling us about her life.
The smile that spreads across her face when she’s performing a routine is infectious, and Riley certainly has no shortage of fans, so in theory this isn’t a problem. It just all feels a bit too cruise ship cabaret – albeit a high quality one.
Unlike other Strictly spin-offs, much of the choreography is pedestrian and well-worn, the house band seeks the limelight a little more than feels appropriate in a dance show, and the chatty banter is pleasing, nothing more.
Director Craig Revel Horwood has thrown so much at this show, with countless glittering costumes, set pieces, video footage, show tunes, even a section from Romeo and Juliet, that it threatens to obscure the dance talent on stage.