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Thomas Michael Voss

Review: THE LAST TANGO at the Phoenix Theatre

The Last Tango The Last Tango is a fun, dynamic and delightful show that moves swiftly through the evening portraying a love story through life.

BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing royalty and the nation’s sweethearts Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone have moved into London’s West End Phoenix Theatre for a limited 10 week run of The Last Tango, the third of a trilogy and their last ever theatre show.

Luckily, instead of a sobby and tearful farewell, together with the rest of the cast, the couple delivers an action packed show with high energy dance routines that celebrate the joy of life and dance.

The story unfolds as the likeable George (Teddy Kempner) rediscovers items evoking memories of his lifetime while dusting off the attic; he has the entire audience reminiscing with him, being reminded of life’s highlights and landmark events such as a proposal, a wedding, birthdays and travels. Despite some poignant moments in the show like the marking of World War II as well as a personal loss, The Last Tango doesn’t dwell on those moments and Teddy Kempner skillfully cheers the audience up again with plenty of shenanigans.

The Last Tango follows the evolution of music, fashion and dance, and Costume Designer Vicky Gill reflects this well through her choice of costumes. My favourite outfits are the 1920/30’s beach collection and Flavia’s stunning Swarovski studded grey lace dress.

With songs like Autumn Leaves, When I Fall In Love, Blue Skies, At Last and Mr. Pinstripe Suit, all beautifully sung by Oliver Darley, it’s hard not to tap along, and finding yourself humming the tunes when as a matter of fact you really want to get up and dance.

You just can’t knock quality. Flavia seeps of class and elegance in the role of George’s wife and is complemented by the suave and assertive Vincent (the young dancing George); he totally devotes himself to her and you just cannot take your eyes off them. This show is one of the many byproducts of a twenty year long dance partnership, filled with love, passion and trust, and it shows. The emotive Tangos and Milongas are truthful and vulnerable - sheer beauty.

An action packed show with high energy dance routines

The company gives it its all by swinging through contagious group numbers with Charlestons, Quicksteps and Jives, although sometimes a bit untidy and unclear about timings, and overall I personally would have liked to see more sensuality to create powerful contrasts. Having said that, everything moves swiftly and there is not a dull moment.

It is a worthy and moving evening for the entire family and it is everything you would and should expect from a West End show, and there is no doubt that this is going to be a sell out hit.

So it’s a ten from me and five stars for that beaming smile alone. What’s not to love! All there is left to say is - Keep on dancing!