Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2024 - Review

Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2024 - Review

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Posted 2024-01-22 by Alison in Birmingham follow

Fri 19 Jan 2024 - Sun 11 Feb 2024



Lights, camera, glitterball, it can only be the return of the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour . I've seen it before but somehow this year was different - far more emotional and heart-warming.

There were tears from Krishnan Guru-Murthy, continuing his journey of enlightenment, and a joyous spring in the step of puppy-like Bobby Brazier. A beautifully emotional American Smooth to 'Unchained Melody' by Annabel Croft with tour partner Graziano Di Prima even brought a lump to my throat.

Others came out fighting, eager to win that glitterball and give champion Ellie Leach with Vito Coppola a run for her money. That made for some spectacular dancing, notably a sizzling tango from Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu and sensational everything from talented Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin.

If you thought Layton was good from your sofa, seeing him live will feel even more spine-tingling. He's so good, that he even got a key part in the Barbie-themed dance with the professionals. There was a lot of love for the pair in the arena, especially after a first dance of the quickstep to 'Puttin' on The Ritz' that opened with Layton doing a backflip. Even Judge Craig Revel Horwood couldn't be nasty about that one.

Kicking off the UK tour at the Utilita Arena Birmingham, the stars of the 2023 series dazzled with bright smiles and even more shimmering costumes. I caught the first of 30 shows that will take place around the UK including in London, Manchester and Glasgow in the coming months (see dates below).

There were some changes to the original series line-up with Krishnan dancing with new tour partner Jowita Przystal and, as mentioned, Anabelle with Graziano. Thankfully a very regal and flexible Angela Rippon kept dancing with Kai Widdrington, so the crowd could see this perfect partnership in real life. Rippon lifting her leg up to the sky will leave you speechless, but not as much as when she's carried like the queen of Sheba by a troupe of male dancers to the judges.



Following a similar format as the popular BBC show, the dance competition got underway between the seven couples with two dances from each that fans will remember from the latest series. Three of the judges are on tour - Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke and Craig Revel Horwood - but it's ultimately the audience that gets to decide each live show's winner by text vote.

Despite all the emotion, it's uplifting too especially with lovable host Janette Manrara proving a hilarious double act with Du Beke. She's the most refreshing and witty host for the live tour I've seen since Mel Giedroyc did the honours a few years ago.

Most of the TV show's professional dancers come along for the ride too including Nadiya Bychkova, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones and Neil Jones. They add more glitz and raise the dancing level a little higher for group routines.

But they also feel like family, no more so than when Jeanette shares family photos on the big screen of new additions to the Strictly pros - her baby with Aljaz and also Neil's newborn.

It runs well over the expected two hours by quite a bit and that's even with the show no longer including an audience dance section. But no one minds as the fun and time flies by all too quickly.



Even the judges are in good spirits, being very liberal with their 10 score paddles. Added to that are plenty of double entendres, scintillating soundtracks from the live band and singers (including well-known Tommy) and to top it all off, a 'Fab-u-lous' from Craig.

It's a slick affair, all choreographed by Craig, that never slips on pace or entertainment. One thing Craig really does understand is his audience. So much so that he and the other judges join in the final dance routine with Jeanette to give us the joys of seeing Shirley etc finally on the dancefloor.

This year's Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour has it all. It's packed with dancing, laughter, joy and heartfelt emotion too. Everyone seems happy to be there including the audience and that's got to be a 10 from me.


Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour Dates

19–21 January Birmingham Utilita Arena

(Friday 19 at 7.30pm, Saturday 20 at 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 21 at 1.30pm & 6.30pm)

23 January Sheffield Utilita Arena

(Tuesday 23 at 2.30pm & 7.30pm)

24-25 January Newcastle Utilita Arena

(Wednesday 24 at 7.30pm, Thursday 25 at 2.30pm & 7.30pm)

26-28 January OVO Hydro Glasgow

(Friday 26 at 7.30pm, Saturday 27 at 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 28 at 1.30pm)

30-31 January M&S Bank Arena Liverpool

(Tuesday 30 at 7.30pm, Wednesday 31 at 7.30pm)

01-02 February First Direct Arena Leeds

(Thursday 1 at 7.30pm, Friday 2 at 7.30pm)

03-04 February AO Arena Manchester

(Saturday 3 at 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 4 at 1.30pm & 6.30pm)

06-08 February Motorpoint Arena Nottingham

(Tuesday 6 at 7.30pm, Wednesday 7 at 7.30pm, Thursday 8 at 7.30pm)

9-11 February The O2 London

(Friday 9 at 7.30pm, Saturday 10 at 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 11 at 1.30pm & 6.30pm)

Tickets: £35 - £100 (price bands differ between venues)

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275632 - 2024-01-18 18:30:17

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