Review: Keep Dancing
Lively ballroom show hints at Strictly magic but falls short of the mark
You only have to hear the audience reaction whenever the word 'strictly' is mentioned to know why ticket sales for this dynamic but under-whelming, show are so healthy.
Fans of the BBC's Saturday night phenomenon Strictly Come Dancing have clearly come out in droves, only to find that sadly Keep Dancing pales in comparison to other Strictly spin-offs. What the show lacks in theatrical nuance and high-end skill, however it almost makes up for in dynamism, energy and costume changes.
Nobody could accuse the cast of young singers and dancers of not giving their all, and each time they return to the stage they're clad in something else colourful and shiny. Jumping back and forth between the decades, they're lindy hopping to jazz one minute, delivering a sultry Latin number the next.
The absence of a live band is less of an issue for the dancers, but the three vocalists feel a little lost without one. Instead, we're fed a backing track of everything from Glenn Miller to Gloria Estefan – ably sung but lacking the punch of live musicians.
Inevitably, the Keep Dancing high points coincide with the arrival of Strictly Come Dancing professionals Robin Windsor and Anya Garnis – a couple whose quick-fire legwork leaves you spellbound.
But ultimately, all that's missing is a whiff of salty air to turn this show into pure cruise ship cabaret.
Seen at Edinburgh Playhouse. Run ends Sat 19 Nov.