After a long wait in which the bright lights of London’s West End have been largely switched off, it felt grand to be in a space with other people having a fine time with the opening of Here Come The Boys.
With an audience in the Palladium definitely up for a good time, it’s fair to say that’s exactly what they got. With music provided by dynamo DJ/beatboxer Bass6 (aka Rupert Oldridge), it was all about the moves and the shimmies.
Current Strictly stars Graziano Di Prima and Aljaž Škorjanec are joined by former series regulars Pasha Kovalev and Robin Windsor, plus heading up the girls (because, despite the title, you really do need girls) is Nadiya Bychkova.
There’s something a little cheesy about setting up a ‘competition’ in some dance categories (jive, samba, ballroom, rumba) allowing each of the stars and a quick chat with 2019 Strictly joint runner-up Karim Zeroual.
Even more cheesy is Aljaž’s stage persona but he completely plays on it and his army of female fans appear to lap up every wink and smirk. Clearly a man with a certain allure.
Here Come The Boys is about movement, energy, and having a good time. Robin and Pasha, both now over forty, and the former returning from a 2-year retirement, prove that dance isn’t always the domain of youngsters: Robin in particular catches the eye in his routine to Queen’s The Show Must Go On.
There’s a spirited tribute to swing in which Nadiya displays her versatility and stamina, and the other ladies are not far behind. Elsewhere, guest gents George and Mick join Kasim in a witty tribute to viral dance crazes on Tik Tok, and Graziano does a sultry routine ‘After Hours’ with fiancee Giada Lini.
Not only is it good to be experiencing a show spectacle with others, but also watching people getting up close through their movement. Dance is a crucial and engrossing form of non-verbal communication, and it is showcased well here, even if I longed just a bit for more ballroom styles than Latin.
Director and choreographer Gareth Walker has created some excellent routines to show off the strengths of everyone involved. The supporting dancers were not fully credited during the show so applause please for Ash-Leigh Hunter, Grace Cinque-White, Rose Wild, George Michealides, and Mick Scott.
The costumes, too, deserve their own shout-out with the glitz and drama provided by designer Francis Campbell and stylist Carol Howard. With screen content by Ryan X Howard adding additional interest, this is a solidly entertaining evening.
You can book tickets for Here Come The Boys at the London Palladium until 9 June, then the show goes on tour – for more details, visit https://herecometheboysshow.com/.
Image credit: Fiona Whyte for TCB Group
LouReviews received complimentary tickets to review Here Come The Boys.