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Strictly Come Dancing Live UK Tour - Review

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
Event: -
Surprises, sparkle and showdances
Strictly Come Dancing Live may be on its 12th year of touring the country, spreading a sprinkling of stardust and glitterballs, but it still manages to offer something new.

Strictly live tour review, London, Birmingham
The Strictly family is back on tour


It may continue to follow its winning formula of dances from celebrities, judges' comments and the chance for the audience to vote on a winner at each show, but there are some fun surprises that make it even more fabulous. I mean, this year, there's even dancing goats!

Strictly Come Dancing Live is at London's SSE Arena Wembley from February 7 to 8 and then London O2 from February 9 to 20 after stopping off in Nottingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham, where I caught the tour on its opening night.

There's a romantic start to the show as professional dancers dazzle to Elton John's Your Song before the celebrities are unveiled in the centre of the arena for a disco medley. It's all accompanied by the excellent live singers and band, who constantly add to the atmosphere.

This year's line-up features celebrity and professional partnerships of Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell , Faye Tozer and Giovanni Pernice, Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev, Lauren Steadman and AJ Pritchard, Graeme Swann with Karen Clifton instead of Ote Mabuse, Dr Ranj Singh and Janette Manrara and TV series winner Stacey Dooley, who has a good chemistry with Aljac Skorjanec in Kevin Clifton's absence.

Joe Sugg, Dianne buswell, romance, strictly live tour review, London, Birmingham
Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell are popular at the show


There's the usual two performances by each pair but what makes this year different is that there are all four judges from the TV show, there's a couple of showdances from the final and we also get to see Shirley Ballas dance as well as Bruno Tonioli sing in a vibrant number to song 'Italiano'.

Through the show, the audience is taken to Broadway via the Copocabana in an interactive, fun two and half hour performance that gives the audience their money's-worth. Keeping the momentum flowing is master of ceremonies Ore Oduba. As a previous Strictly winner, we know he's got happy feet, but he also understands the essence of this hugely popular show.

Ore is not only a hilarious host, he is also a dab hand at ad-libbing or having a go at daredevil dance sequence s with Craig Revel Horwood (I won't give it away but it's a lot of fun). I noticed that the likeable Ore was also happy to wander around the crowd and pose for selfies with people when not presenting.

Strictly come dancing live tour , Birmingham, arena Birmingham
Professional dancers stun during the tour


It's a good move having all four judges on the tour and it's interesting to see and understand more of Ballas, whose tiny in size and is a real twinkle-toes on the dance floor.

Craig Revel Horwood meanwhile lives up to his grumpy caricature and is deliciously diva-ish, even chastising the audience " If you're going to boo at least boo properly". His scorn and low scores earn him the title of 'our own Les Miserables' from Ore.

When it comes to the dancing, it really is a bumper year of contestants. Faye Tozer is extraordinary with Giovanni and their finale showdance and yodelling number with dancing goats is a spectacular.

Stacey Dooley doesn't disappoint either and is impressive through her emotional Les Miserables number and paso doble (or should I say paso Dooley).

Then there are Joe Sugg and Dianne, who electrify with their rocker showdance, even if he did fall over in the show I saw, and Cotton Eye Joe Charleston. They are coy about their burgeoning romance too.

It's good to see AJ Pritchard back to dance with Lauren Steadman since being attacked, while Graeme Swann and Dr Ranj Singh provide most of the comedy, performance-wise. Graeme flosses during his dance to the test match special theme tune while Dr Ranj outdoes everyone on the costume front with his Firebird jumpsuit.

What the Strictly tour offers is the chance to forget all your worries and dance your cares away. It's spectacular, scattered with glittering entertainment and strictly sensational.

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Why? Keep dancing with live strictly show
When: Touring until 10 February
Phone: 0208 4633359
Where: London arenas -SSE Arena in Wembley and O2 in Greenwich
Cost: From 52
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