Strictly Come Dancing has done a lot to popularise ballroom dancing – and it is making celebrities out of its star performers. Two such celebrities are now touring with their show That’s Entertainment and visited the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall to tremendous acclaim; Anton du Beke, has danced on Strictly since its inception in 2004, and Erin Boag for 10 series, having coming to the UK from New Zealand via Australia.
The two of them complete a wonderful show that includes the Manchester Concert Ochestra under the able baton of Richard Balcombe, and mellow bluesy-voiced singer Lance Ellington.
The two celebrities dance and sing a plethora of show time numbers including the Trolley Song (from Meet Me in St Louis) to There’s No Business Like Show Business, and It’s All Right with Me, ably assisted by Mr Ellington.
That they can sing is a revelation and Anton is not at all bad. He can dance, sing, joke along with the audience and is an all-round entertainer. Erin presented in a variety of beautiful gowns from pale gold to neon green, turquoise blue and bright fuscia. They were accompanaied by three pairs of dancers, one Adam Lyons a local lad. The supporting dancer were all young, lithe and superbly choreographed,
Anton spent some time chatting to the audience about his experiences on Strictly, the fact that he knows that nine times out of ten he will get the less natural dancer! He joked that he got neck-ache with Jerry Hall, still has flashbacks from his time with Nancy Dell’Olio, and how he managed to improvise to fill in his 1.5 allocated minutes with Judy Murray, where anything but a dance step would do!. However, he said she was such a lovely fun person her enjoyed it all, and they even made Blackpool.
Erin who has an eight-month old baby and is married to a scouser has temporarily hung up her dancing shoes as being on strictly, she revealed, means being away from home 7 days a week for 5 months and she just could not bear to leave her baby for so long. But she still tours with Anton who she paired up with in 1977. And watch out for the People’s Strictly for Comic Relief when ordinary dancers have a go. You heard it here first.
The show itself flashed by in a flurry of brightly coloured satin, tulle and diamonte. The music was smooth, the humour warm and the dancing superb. It was just like an old-fashioned Saturday night variety show on the TV.
Anton and Erin: That’s Entertainment
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Friday February 13 2015
Purple Revolver Rating: **** Tripping the Light Fantastic