My daughter thinks Strictly Come Dancing is “fab-u-lous” so when anything comes to Cardiff with the famous Strictly nametag, we’re dead certs to be in the audience.
This show, written by Craig Revel-Horwood, promised something a little different and centred around Lisa Riley – the “people’s favourite” of the last series – alongside professional dancers Ian Waite, Natalie Lowe, and Artem Chigvintsev, who arguably had the most fans in the audience, judging by the whoops and rapturous applause for him from start to finish.
The show opened to a group dance with Riley getting stuck in, and then there was a variety of singing and dancing, interweaved with the four stars telling their own stories about how the got where they are today.
For me, this spoiled the pace of the show as it felt a bit flat and over-rehearsed, particularly when the microphones didn’t work so we couldn’t even hear what they were saying.
There was a poignant moment when the former Emmerdale star spoke of losing her mum to cancer just a few weeks before she appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, and the band performed In My Daughter’s Eyes beautifully but then there were other moments in the show that just left me puzzled. I cringed when a Comic Relief video played Boyzone’s When The Going Gets Tough and everyone started to tussle for the microphone and even my daughter seemed completely confused at the story of Mandy Dingle, the character Riley played in Emmerdale.
But all that can be forgiven because the dancing was, as you would suspect, rather spectacular. To watch the professionals twisting, turning and cha-cha-cha-ing in their glitzy outfits, it was clear to see exactly why Strictly has become such a huge hit.
They were unbelievably talented, with breathtakingly passionate dance routines and high energy numbers, accompanied by the five-piece band and an excellent team of backing dancers.
There’s something very mesmerising watching the very tall Waite swirl Lowe beautifully round the dance floor and I’d have preferred to have watched dance after dance than be forced to hear the trivial details they decided to share with the audience like what size their feet are (Waite’s a size 12, don’t you know).