Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations

Strictly Come Dancing The Live Tour Review at O2 Arena

Home > London > Celebrity | Dancing | Family | Fun for Children | Theatre Reviews
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: -
Review Of Strictly With Kelvin Fletcher And Saffron Barker
Lights, camera, sparkle - the glamorous Strictly Come Dancing roadshow is back for 2020 featuring all the finalists from the latest series, and here's what you can expect with a review of the tour.

strictly come dancing live tour, london, 02 arena, celebrity dancers
The celebrity line-up on this year's Strictly tour


Strictly Come Dancing The Live Tour opened with a show as dazzling as its famous glitterball at Arena Birmingham and will reach London's O2 Arena on February 7 for three days of final performances.

Directed by judge Craig Revel Horwood, it's a slick affair that gives the audience what they want. With a similar format to the TV programme, there's group dances, two performances by each of the couples, banter with the judges and the chance for the crowd to choose the winner of each performance by text vote - but there's also a big gap from some of the missing personalities.

Screams accompany winner Kelvin Fletcher whenever he appears and he makes a good team with Janette Manrara. However, the show misses something without popular Oti Mabuse around, as well as the absence of favourites Aljaz Škorjanec, Kevin Clifton, Gorka Marquez, Anton Du Beke and Giovanni Pernice. There just seems to be something lacking without so many of these strong personalities.

This year's presenter is former champion Stacey Dooley, shimmering in a long silver number in the first half with the cool urban attitude that made her so popular in the show.

There's no Kevin Clifton by her side and although Stacey is likeable and still popular with the crowd, she's not got the entertainment background or comedy personality to gee up the audience enough.

Ore Oduba was loud and lively while Mel Giedroyc, of Mel and Sue comic duo fame, was hilarious and tongue in cheek. Compared to those previous live tour presenters, Stacey seems a bit stilted.

Strictly come dancing live tour, arena birmingham
Stacey Dooley is popular but not an ideal presenter for the live tour


Instead, it's left to Bruno Tonioli to act the fool and liven up the audience in pantomime style with Craig Revel Horwood and Shirley Ballas as his stooges. Bruno also takes a singing turn for a group dance of song I Love You Baby at the beginning of the second act in a suitable glamorous routine with large bright pink feather fans.

But what people came to see are the celebrities dancing and they won't be disappointed with a high calibre of performances.

Runners-up Emma Barton and Karim Zeroul are in the line-up too. This time Emma has Graziano Di Prima to lead her through a Charleston to the song from Throughly Modern Millie and an American Smooth to Let's Face The Music And Dance, which she performed with Anton in Blackpool. Emma seems pretty happy to have swapped the granddad of the professional dancers for the Italian hunk.

Strictly come dancing live tour, arena birmingham, Stacey Dooley
The Strictly ladies line up for the tour


Karim shows off just how much talent and stamina he has with his professional partner Amy Dowden through his Quickstep and then later on, the Jive to Hairspray's You Can't Stop The Beat that got a perfect score in the series and is still impeccable.

Likable ex-England female footballer Alex Scott and Neil Jones give their all with crowd-pleasers of a Paso Doble to Beyonce's Who Rules The World(Girls) - her strongest dance that is accompanied by bursting shots of flames - and a Street Commercial number to Ghostbusters.

There's a lot of love from the audience for South African professional dancer Johannes Radebe, who did the ground-breaking first ever male-only couple dance with Graziano on Strictly last season, and his friend and dance partner Catherine Tyldesley

They do a beautiful, understated Rumba to song Shallow from A Star Is Born. They come back in the second half to do a Charleston to Beyonce's Single Ladies, both dressed in all pink as beauticians.

Mike Bushell and Katya Jones are entertaining as always - the jokers of the pack - with a Cha Cha Cha to It's Raining Men with Mike dressed as a fireman and a Quickstep to Come On Eileen that is the essence of fun.

While Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard impress and add some youthful exuberance to the proceedings. Both of their routines dazzle, firstly with a Foxtrot to Sinatra's New York, New York and later a mesmerising waltz to Elton John's Your Song. It sends tingles down the spine.

No matter how good they are, they can't compete with the adoration being shown for latest champion Kelvin. His routines highlight why he deserved to win - his Show Dance from the final and then the Samba that prompts Bruno to declare Kelvin's "bum is a work of art".

strictly come dancing live tour, judges, 02 arena, arena birmingham
The judges on the live tour


The whole show is a lot of fun and child-friendly with its pantomime style teasing of the judges. There's also a chance for the audience to try out a dance routine with the judges.

One of the extra delights is to experience the Strictly Come Dancing singers and band live. They really are fine performers. It's good to see that Strictly singers Hayley, Tommy, Patrick and Andrea are given their own chance to shine on their own while performing Gospel-style song Joyful Joyful.

Most impressive of all are the Group Dances featuring the full cast and this tour offers some more spectaculars in the shadow of the huge glitterball.

The ones that stand out are a romantic 1950's number with all the couples waltzing around lampposts in the most beautiful gowns and the professional dancers recreating the Halloween episode dance to Britney Spear's Toxic.

It has a Game Of Thrones style theme and concludes with huge banners falling from the arena ceiling. Breathtakingly dramatic including popular dancers Karen Hauer and Dianne Buswell at the centre of this.

Strictly Come Dancing Live may be missing some key personalities this year but the winning formula and dance sequences manage to overcome that setback to still make it a ten from me.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  21
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? See the glittering fun and dance sequences of Strictly Come Dancing near you
When: February 7 - 9, 2020
Phone: 0208 463 2000
Where: 02 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX
Cost: £35 - £105
Your Comment
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions