Dance to the Music at The Hawth Crawley Review

Reviewed by Louise Watts

Last evening, myself and my 9-year-old dance mad daughter went to The Hawth theatre in Crawley to see the incredibly talented and downright gorgeous “Strictly Come Dancing” favourites Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor in Dance to the Music. I have had the pleasure of seeing Robin before in “Keep Dancing” so I knew we were in for an incredible evening’s entertainment and I was in no way disappointed!

The show is a spin off from Strictly and features some of the best dancing stars around. It is a story of dancing through the decades starting with the 1920’s and ending in the current day. Each era is introduced by the evenings hosts Christopher Maloney and Beth Sherburn. The show started in the 20’s with the timeless classic and my personal favourite the “Charleston”. Everything worked brilliantly, the songs (also delivered by the beautiful Beth and Dapper Christopher), the dances and the outstanding costumes. All I can say is Beth must have her own tour bus just to carry her dresses! They were all stunning and she was incredible in her singing as well as her wardrobe. Christopher brought the comedy factor to the evening with his lovely sense of humour and engaged the audience nicely. He even did a little bit of dancing with the cast which he carried off well. Maybe a time to change career Christopher and think of becoming a dancer?

As you would expect, the dancers were of the highest calibre. Sadly, Jonathan Platero had suffered an injury in the opening night of the show and was therefore unable to perform. His part was played by three incredible dancers Sam Hunter, Shannon Fitzgerald and the amazing Italian Pascale… all three of whom deserve huge credit and admiration for putting in 20 hours rehearsals in order to carry out the performance. Would I have guessed that they were understudies and had only just learned their roles? ABSOLUTELY NOT – I would have awarded all of them a 10! This shows their outstanding professionalism and immense talent but also the versatility of the other dancers to be able to adapt to new partners with no sign to the audience at all.

The Company included the enigmatic Dharmesh Patel. I had seen Dharmesh at The Hawth in October in “The Tap Factory” where his skill and talent completely blew me away. Watching him tonight was a joy as he showed that not only is he a top class tap dancer but can pretty much dance to anything. His cheeky smile was present throughout which you cannot help but feel drawn to. Julia Cheng, Dom Le Brun and Julia Ruiz Fernandez have a wealth of dancing experience between them and this was shown in abundance as they performed both with the strictly stars and also by themselves. I have no doubt they are faces to watch in the future for Strictly!

As we moved through the decades we were treated to medleys from Elvis and Michael Jackson as well as some father funny flashbacks to the 1980’s! The whole show flowed beautifully, and I loved the way all the costumes were changed to match the era we were in.

As if the talent and skill of all the pre-mentioned dancers wasn’t enough, we were hugely privileged to see the big Strictly stars Oksana Platero, Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor.

Seeing these stars perform is like being transported into another world. Their dancing skill is simply out of this world! The sharpness, the talent and the performance are on a completely different level. If you could define the word “perfection” with actions, I would show their dancing. There was not a foot out of place, their whole performance was absolutely perfect and I would not change anything about it. I think even Craig Revel Horwood would struggle to find fault!

The running time was around 2 hours with a short interval which I thought was about right. The fact that these guys can dance for a solid 2 hours and not even look out of breath is a feat in itself!

The Hawth was as always, a delightful venue with friendly, helpful staff and ample free parking. Refreshments are available from the bar and food is available pre-theatre if you would like.

I would recommend this show to anyone who loves music and dance. It is perfection from start to finish. A dance lover’s heaven! In the spirit of Strictly I would not hesitate to award them all a 10!

Rating: 5/5

Dance to the Music is currently on tour around the UK, for more information, tour dates or to book tickets visit www.dancetothemusictour.com.

For other shows at The Hawth in Crawley visit hawth.co.uk or call the box office on 01293 553636.

The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, Sussex, RH10 6YZ | 01293 553636

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