27 January 2017
Reviewed by Ant Turton
With Strictly Come Dancing being a firm family favourite in our house, the moment when we heard Brendan was coming to North Wales with his All Night Long Tour and his production team had given two tickets to What’s Good To Do for a review we immediately applied to be the lucky reviewers.
With the tickets assured the complicated process of choosing which family members would review the show began. Our five year old son who takes ballroom dancing lessons was the obvious choice and his argument of “I love dancing“ seemed to guarantee him his seat!
With my wife and I seemingly at a tie to see who should travel with Noah we left the tough decision to him, and I am glad to say I was chosen ahead of Louise.
We left for Llandudno giving ourselves plenty of time to arrive at the Venue Cymru Theatre and easily found a free car park space directly behind the theatre, a pay and display car park is also available on site if the surrounding roads are busy.
The theatre, which we have visited several times always has a vibrant and friendly atmosphere and the more than helpful box office team were once again a pleasure to meet when collecting our tickets.
We grabbed some treats and drinks for the performance and found our seats in the upper tier, a fabulous vantage point for us to see all the impending action.
The lights dimmed and immediately the show started with All Night Long being performed by a fantastic live band under the marvellous directorship of Barry Robinson, after the lively and upbeat opening number from both musicians and dancers the theatre was aware of the high standard of entertainment we were to be part of.
Brendan in between performances took the time to have a chat and interact with the theatre, and much to the joy of all, especially my son, mentioned Strictly several times with some insights into the friendship, fun and dedication all the cast have during the show, it’s a side of Brendan I personally haven’t seen much of but he looked well at home telling stories of his work, and the lucky birthday celebrating members of the audience were treated to a kiss from the man himself during his walkabout round the crowd mid show.
I can’t praise the whole cast enough for the tremendous performance we enjoyed during the evening. The vocal talents of Iain Mackenzie and Julie Maguire were quite simply astonishing supported by the live band every track, either upbeat or slow had the audience mesmerised from start to finish. There really is something quite magical about live music and dance together, the choreography was breath taking at times and the waltz with Brendan and leading lady Faye Huddleston gave me goosebumps.
There was something for everyone during the performance with a Charleston, jive, rumba and more. One minute we were clapping along to the music then the next holding our breath as the eight-strong cast of dancers glided around the stage in absolute beauty. It was difficult to pick our personal favourite performances but I thoroughly enjoyed Crystal Main performing to ‘What A Feeling’, although that could be due to in the words of Brendan himself “what a costume“ with my son particularly enjoying the Jive which was unbelievably fast and frantic.
The closeness and friendship between the cast was evident to see throughout the evening and was touched on by Brendan when he told of the fun they all have together, firstly putting the show together then travelling nationwide to perform together. Also a special mention to Brendan for his guitar playing which was a challenge set for him by the cast last year, you could feel the emotion in the song, especially when he explained during his practice his daughter joined in with him, his enjoyment must have been immense in those moments.
If you, like our family enjoy dancing then this show is a must for all ages, a supreme high quality show put together with fabulous enjoyment had by all the audience it’s a shame this could last “all night long “
If you get the chance go and see it soon!!
Brendan Cole is currently touring the UK with All Night Long, for more information and tour dates visit brendancole.com.
For other shows at Venue Cymru in Llandudno visit www.venuecymru.co.uk.
Venue Cymru, The Promenade, Llandudno, Conwy, LL30 1BB | 01492 872000