THE LAST TANGO – New Wimbledon Theatre, London.
From the sparkle of Strictly Come Dancing to treading the boards in London theatres; Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone present a rare treat of Tango indulgence and undeniably raw talent, suitable for anyone with an ounce of interest in dance.
You might not be expecting it, but there is a (loose) plot to connect each dance sequence. Although utterly predictable and as cheesy as cheddar, the role of George (Teddy Kempner) looking back at his past through nostalgic items found in his loft works in tying the performance together without trying to be a West End play. As the only speaking character, the rest of the cast are left to do what they know best; singing and of course busting a move!
The obvious stars of the show are inevitably Flavia and Vincent; their spotlight dance numbers as sleek and charismatic as you would expect. However towards the end they raise the bar further with a couple of heartfelt numbers that demonstrates their unbelievable capabilities as a dance couple and totally justifies their countless list of past awards. This being said, the rest of the ensemble hold their own in beautiful fashion and provide many excellent group dance sequences.
To add another layer into the performance, the set has been carefully designed to allow access to other areas of the stage. The cage-like background which sweeps around the whole set provides a surreal, rigid and bizarrely sensuous feel – which compliments the ideology surrounding the Tango. Whilst in comparison, the misshapen house allows George’s character to view his memories with the audience viewing both perspectives simultaneously.
Particularly enjoyable moments include the violinist appearing from an opened section of the ‘cage’, an angelic slower routine between Flavia and Vincent and a glitzy number on the waves. Of course the hugely talented orchestra provide the soundtrack to around thirty different songs and are an essential asset to the performance as a whole. A slight criticism could be regarding a darker aspect of the story. This perhaps is unecessary for what is essentially a light-hearted production created solely for entertainment. However it could also be argued that this is the inspiration for the hypnotic routines that follow.
If you are looking for a jam-packed dance fest you will not be disappointed, as The Last Tango boasts an abundance of Jive, Rumba and Latin Swing – just don’t expect to be blown away by the narrative.
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By Natalie Green
16th – 20th February 2016
New Wimbledon Theatre, London SW19 1QG