Brendan Cole: All Night Long at New Wimbledon Theatre
“Tonight you are mine, and mine only.” Brendan Cole is in high spirits, back on his tour of All Night Long, with a line up consisting of eight dancers and 13 musicians performing all types of sequences, from ballroom dance to the Cha-Cha-Cha, with a vibrant live band.
The New Zealander, who is best known for his charming yet naughty attitude on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, is on top form. As he descends to the stage, Lionel Ritchie’s All Night Long plays, with bongos, trumpet and singers including Ian Mackenzie and Jenna Lee-James, who is fresh from her West End shows. After a sensual and refreshing start, Cole wastes no time in getting into the Cha-Cha-Cha, fluid and fast, with professional dancers who include leading lady Faye Huddleston, Crystal Main, Victoria Burke, Sallyrose Beardall, Mike Johnson, Craig Jones, and Gary Max Wright.
Cole enjoys chatting to the audience, as much as he loves dancing for them, and discusses the latest gossip on Strictly Come Dancing – though this is only relevant to those who have kept up with the show.
Following this, Sallyrose Beardall, a professional competitive dancer, puts on a sizzling hot routine. She moves provocatively, dressed in a red catsuit, doing splits and being lifted with ease by her male partners. The Viennese Waltz then transports us into a fairy-tale land, a beautiful number that evokes romance, perfectly suiting The Corrs’ hit single Runaway. With the mesmerising flouncy peach dresses, we are swept away in this exquisite ballroom piece, of which Cole himself remarks, “I love the ballroom…the reason I dance”. The super-fast speedy Charleston is done with ease, showing the performers’ talents. After some birthday greetings to audience members, our host presents the passionate and fiery Paso Doble. Despite the female dancers’ outfits being quite an eyesore, Cole’s is fitting – a black and gold matador jacket.
Though he adores the limelight, Cole offers it to his dancers and singers, giving them the stage. Crystal Main’s thrilling routine to Irene Cara’s 80s smash hit What a Feeling – complete with leg warmers – fills the theatre with a contagious upbeat nostalgia.
Cole’s humour is not witty, but he makes up for it with his dancing, and a surprising guitar performance of Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, which he dedicates to his wife and is one of the highlights of the evening. Though the theatre is only half full, and an ambitious number of sequences are included in the evening, respect is earned by Cole, and his dancers, for remembering such detailed routines, as well as appreciation for the musicians playing warm and vibrant songs. Together, this makes a night of world-class dancing and music that gives us a taste of the Austrian, Spanish and American.
Brendan Cole: All Night Long was at New Wimbledon Theatre on 21st January 2018 before continuing its UK and Ireland theatre tour. For further information or to book visit the tour website here.
Watch the trailer for Brendan Cole: All Night Long here: