Anton and Erin Go To Hollywood – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewed by Garry McWilliams

A non-stop show case of slick choreography, with toe-tapping musical numbers and show-stopping presentation – Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag played to a full house and deservedly so.

With Lance Ellington (vocalist from Strictly Come Dancing) as their singer accompanied by the London Concert Orchestra, the musicality of the show was simply outstanding. Four dancers (namely Francine Cornell, Gemma Facinelli, Tom Goodall and Chris Piper) also joined in some of the numbers and they were versatile, sharp and matched the capabilities of Anton and Erin.

Highlights of Act One were ‘Top Hat’ which was a Quick Step based dance performed with great precision, it undoubtedly had the ‘wow’ factor. ‘Me and My Shadow’ performed predominantly as a vocal duet by Anton and Lance had it all, Anton can certainly hold a tune and it was laced with comedy and laugh-out-loud moments. ‘I remember It well’ was a hilarious duet performed by Anton and Erin, with changed lyrics – it had the audience in raptures.

Throughout the show, both Anton and Erin interacted with the audience and chatted about ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, demonstrating a good rapport off the dance floor, too. A funny moment came when Anton spotted a member of the audience disappearing and found out that she and her husband had a granddaughter on the way anytime soon. It was a nice personal touch that Anton asked after their new arrival at regular intervals throughout the evening. It was evident that Du Beke is as talented as a comedian as he is a dancer.

Act Two brought a wonderful orchestral number ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’, ‘Wunderbar’ which Anton and Erin danced in the style of Viennese Waltz which was particularly beautiful and a show-stopping finale of ’42nd Street’. This final delight included some tap steps and showed off the incredible talent of every dancer on the stage.

There was a box in the foyer for questions that were put to Anton and Erin in Act Two. This was yet another opportunity for interaction with the audience and there was an air of anticipation and excitement as everyone hoped that their question would be chosen. We were quite disappointed that ours wasn’t! I have included the full selection of questions together with their answers at the end of the article.

In summary, this is a superb night out for any fans of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, ballroom dancing enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys musical theatre.
The tour runs until the end of March this year and will return to the Symphony Hall in Birmingham on 3rd March. Go to http://www.raymondgubbay.co.uk for a full tour date and venue list and to book tickets.

Question and Answer Session:

Q: How Often Do You Step On Each Others’ Toes and Who Is The Worst Culprit?

A: We occasionally step on each others toes, but if you move your body properly, your feet will go where they’re supposed to and it won’t happen.

Q: (to Erin) How Many Dance Partners Did It Take To Get Anton?

A: I had one when I came over to the UK from New Zealand, but I dumped him because he spent too much time in the pub. I made a list of who I’d most like to dance with in the dance world and Anton was at the top of the list.

Q: If you could dance with any of the Strictly Come Dancing judges, who would you pick and which dance would you choose?

A: (Erin) Darcey! [Bussell] Craig and Bruno would get on my nerves!
(Anton) Brucey!

Q: (to Anton) If You Were Prime Minister, What Would You Introduce?

A: Me as the winner of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, my show dance would last for 25 minutes!

Q: Have Either Of You Experienced A Wardrobe Malfunction?

A: (Erin) I did on this very stage four years ago. I was wearing a halter neck and I managed to catch the top as it fell. I then had to tell Anton (mid-way through the Quick Step) to help me to fasten it, again.

Q: How Long Does Anton Take To Get Ready?

A: (Erin) I apply his make-up for him, but he doesn’t take that long to get ready, he’s not that vain!

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First published 04.02.13

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