Review: Strictly Come Dancing @ Manchester Arena

First published in Stage reviews Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Features editor

MANCHESTER was awash with fake tan as the Strictly brought high camp, glitz and glamour to town.

As a live show, Strictly offers entertainment on an epic scale. It’s like a Saturday night on the telly on steroids.

So you still get seven celebrity contestants, the three wise men of the judging panel, a magnificent band and brilliant singers.

Arenas may not be the natural home for a dance show but the audience soon were clapping along and raising their scorecards as the show progressed.

Former X Factor host Kate Thornton replaced Bruce and Tess and did a great job holding the show together.

This was Carry On Strictly, where everything was just a little bit saucier in a seaside postcard kind of way.

Craig Revel Howard was the pantomime dame to Nancy Del Olio’s wicked queen while Bruno Tonioli was just a drama queen.

For the record Harry really is that good a dancer - and Nancy is that bad.

But she’s also a great sport, being carried on Cleopatra-style by her semi naked partner Artem.

What you don’t appreciate on TV is just how good the professional dancers are.

They all magnificent and stunning, with bodies apparently sculpted out of teak.

On the current tour the celebs included Robbie Savage, Anita Dobson and Jason Donovan.

The audience votes via text for their favourite and on opening night Chelsee Healey recorded a home win.

But to be honest the competition was secondary to a great night’s entertainment.

As Craig would say: “Fab-u-lous!”

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