12-16 July 2016
Reviewed by Sally Carter
Last night I had the privilege and the pleasure to attend the first night of Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace’s show, “The Last Tango” at its run at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Now, it’s safe to say that most people know of Vincent and Flavia, (of Strictly Come Dancing fame) but what quite to expect from this show, was unknown…? Well of course I need not have worried, as I came away at the end of the evening entranced and enthralled.
The set design was an amazing and eclectic selection of ‘brick-a-brack’ and items portraying the loft of an old house, full of treasured keepsakes and family heirlooms. The show opens and we meet the main character, George, (played by Teddy Kempner) an older gentleman, as he climbs up in to his loft and begins to look around. From the house below we hear the reassuring voice of his son (who we never meet) asking if he is OK, helping to ‘set the scene’. This voice from below is used throughout the story to bring us back to the ‘now’ and keep the pace of the story moving forwards. George begins to move around the loft looking in boxes and wardrobes and playing an old piano. These items begin to trigger memories of his life as a younger man; meeting a girl, courting, marrying, etc… (I don’t want to give too much away) These memories then enfold in front of us, played out by Vincent Simone (as the young George), his wife, played by Flavia Cacace and a small chorus of supporting singing and dancing friends. The story of their lives is cleverly and beautifully told through the medium of dance, song and music with each period of George’s life being prompted by the discovery of particular treasures found in the loft.
The subtle tones of the lighting and costume design represented perfectly the ‘bygone era’ of the young George’s life, with just the right amount of ‘sparkle’ in the dresses to make us swoon. The live band were excellent bringing all the well-known songs and tunes to life, topped off by the extraordinary choreography, expertly put together by Director and Choreographer Karen Bruce with the help and support of Co-choreographers, Vincent and Flavia. Two singers (Matthew Gent and Rebecca Lisewski) sang wonderfully together and as soloists delivering old favourites such as, Beyond the Sea and Autumn Leaves and even a violinist joined the action on stage playing the moving theme from Schindler’s List in a piece that moved me (and most of the audience I believe) to tears.
All in all the show was truly amazing. Thoughtful, beautiful and energetic. Well done all!
The Mayflower itself is a lovely theatre and the staff helped to make it a most enjoyable evening.
I would highly recommend The Last Tango to all lovers of music and dance. We certainly had a fabulous evening.
Tickets cost from £19 to £35 (booking fees may apply)
The Last Tango is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton until 16 July 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 02380 711811.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811