Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace in The Last Tango
Milton Keynes Theatre
Think Argentine tango and two names spring to mind: Vincent and Flavia.
The dancing duo are truly masters of their craft and, after becoming household names on BBC1’s hugely successful TV show Strictly Come Dancing, the pair have packed out theatres across the UK with their sell-out tours.
Now the third and final part of their trilogy, the aptly-named The Last Tango, is touring the UK and is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday night. This is their touring swansong and what a magnficent show it is.
As a reaction to the recent atrocities in Paris, everyone had their handbags checked as we entered the theatre so a small queue developed while we went through the searches.
Once seated in the theatre, we were greeted by a superb set of an attic filled with the typical Christmas decorations and old objects, where a man (played by Teddy Kempner) sits and looks back on his life.
Below him is the dance floor where his adult life is replayed through flashback in dance form, taking us from the Second World War to present day and full of the most evocative, moving and foot-tapping songs played by a live orchestra and sung, spectacularly, by Matthew Gent.
I have watched Vincent and Flavia’s first two shows in this trilogy - Midnight Tango and Dance ‘Til Dawn - and this is my favourite.
The combination of Vincent and Flavia’s incredible duets and the ensemble dances works absolutely brilliantly, perhaps because the choice of songs is excellent.
The dancing is breathtaking throughout and the famous dancers make it look effortlessly easy. And Flavia’s costumes are absolutely stunning from glamorous ballroom ones to cute Christmas skating-style ones. The one she wears in the well-deserved encore is the most sparkly dress I have ever seen onstage and is utterly stunning and I have never seen anyone move their legs as much as she does in the ganchos of the Argentine tango.
Talking tango, there is plenty in the show, but there are many different other dance forms in it including waltzes, foxtrots and jives. Special mention must go to the amazing WWII medley of dances in the second half which really had you wanting to get up and dance with them.
The Last Tango is one of those must-see shows which I could happily sit through time and time again. My only criticism is that it wasn’t long enough - the first act is 42 minutes long and, after a 20-minute interval, the second half was 45 minutes long. I could have easily sat through another act.
A hugely-deserved standing ovation greeted the cast at the end and, while this maybe Vincent and Flavia’s last tango onstage in our theatres for now, I hope we’ll see them back one day and sure we will see lots of them in new projects on our televisions in the future.
Box office www.atgtickets.com