Here Come the Boys! is a thrilling adventure in theatre
“Let’s Face the Music and Dance!”
At the Pallladium is the dance spectacular that every Strictly Come Dancing fan has been waiting for but I’ll bring you the view of someone for whom the world of Strictly has had less impact ……so far! This conversion is to do with the sheer enjoyability of this show and the professionalism and skill of the dancers. This is down to the choreographer and director Gareth Williams who was an assistant director on the Olympic Closing ceremony in 2012.
The star of the show is relatively new dancer to Strictly, Sicilian, Graziano di Prima whose handsome looks, height and constantly flicked back, wet look long curls are eye candy for the audience. His strength is Latin dance as he has won the Latin championship at home in Italy. His Ballroom may lack precision but his Latin has all the dramatic sexual content. The other favourite is Aljaž Škorjanec, who has been on Strictly for seven years and whose facial acting is a bonus addition to his perfect steps.
Veteran of Strictly Robin Windsor has great stage dance experience and Rachel Riley’s husband, Pasha Kovalev (is he really 5 feet 11 ? ~ Wikipedia) has his own fan base. Maybe I am being heightist about this but height is more noticeable on stage than it is on television. In the audience were AJ Pritchard and his diminutive girlfriend Abbie Quinnen, a really cute couple. You can understand the number of romances in the dance world with professional dance’s sex on legs reputation.
Nadiya Bychkova is the headline girl dancer and during this show she will dance six back to back numbers, most often partnered by Aljaž with whom, as a little girl, she trained at the same dance school in Slovenia. Two more young male dancers, George Michealides and Mick Scott join group numbers and individually will demonstrate exciting and acrobatic flik flaks. Graziano’s fiancée (sad face) Giada Lini will join three other girls, Ash-Leigh Hunter, Grace Cinque-White and Rose Wild to do what the men do backwards and in high heels!
The show is compered by Bass6 a beat boxer and Karim Zeroual, an actor and Strictly runner up as a contestant in 2019. The audience vote on Battles by the top four men and even as a novice dance fan I could predict the winner of each genre of dance style. The music is recorded but the tunes are great, from 1950s Jive to Los Lobos, Prince, Lady Gaga and Irving Berlin.
I remember a theatre director saying that what you remember on stage is the visual and of course dance transcends spoken language barriers. Here Come the Boys! is a visual kaleidoscope with costume changes and spectacular lighting effects. The psychedelic back projections add excitement.
The second act has almost everyone in naval type uniform and we all know what a uniform does for a man, although I doubt most uniform employers would allow Graziano’s long locks. Nadiya has a head to toe, white fringed cat suit, which when spinning, creates a pole of swirling, fringed lampshades. I didn’t understand the function of the girls’ trousers slashed from ankle to knee except for extra flapping. The Paso Doble will have all the drama of men full of machismo wielding red cloaks, and to open Act Two with Prince’s “Purple Rain”, dark lighting, dramatic black costumes and a scintillating projected backdrop of firework rain.
This show is so polished, co-ordinated and well designed, a reminder of the heights of British theatre. Let us remember, as Aljaž said, “There’s no furlough for dancers,” but “Just for being here, we have won a battle.”
THE JIVE BATTLE
TIK TOK TRIBUTE
THE SALSA BATTLE
LET’S GO LATIN
THE BALLROOM BATTLE
THE RHUMBA BATTLE
THE BEATBOX BATTLE
Here Come the Boys!
Show Director & Choreographer Gareth Walker
Graziano di Prima
Beatboxer : Bass6
Director and Choreographer: Gareth Walker
Set Designer: Steve Howell
Costume Designer: Francis Campbell
Musical Director: Matt Howes
Lighting Designer: Leigh Mulpeter
Additional Costume Designer: Kim Bladon
Costume Stylist: Carol Howard
Screen & Social Media Content: Ryan X Howard
Sound Designer: Tom Cox
Assistant Choreographer: Scott Coldwell
Producer: Steven Howard for The TCB Group
Co-Producer: David Shepherd for TEG MJR
Running Time: Two hours and 30 minutes with an interval
Booking to 9th June 2021
The London Palladium
8 Argyll St
London W1F 7TF
Tube : Oxford Circus
PLEASE CHECK WITH VENUES
BECAUSE AT THE TIME OF
WRITING THE TOUR SEEMS
MOSTLY POSTPONED TO 2022
Wednesday 7th July STOKE Regent Theatre
Thursday 15th July TORQUAY Princess Theatre
Saturday 17th July NORWICH Theatre Royal
Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge at the
Palladium on 26th May 2021