Reviewed by Nikki Cotter
Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Not to be out sequinned by the small matter of the Eurovision Song Contest happening at the opposite end of the M62 this week, Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals hits the Lowry stage with a promise of stunning choreography and lavish costumes all delivered by everyone’s favourite pros from the show.
The huge success of the stadium tour which sees celebrities and their professional partners recreating the most popular routines from the BBC show has birthed another welcome opportunity for fans to get their FAB-U-LOUS fix with a celebration of all things Strictly, bridging the gap until the new series starts in September.
Boasting 10 of SCD’s most popular dancers this show quite literally has it all from Charlestons to Cha Cha Chas and everything else in between. The pros burst onto the Lowry stage delivering high energy routines which thrill the delighted audience, introducing each other as they go, not that this audience of Strictly superfans need any introductions! The highly polished routines come thick and fast showcasing the sheer talent of the multi award-winning dancers on stage.
Strictly’s Creative Director Jason Gilkison has directed the show perfectly, balancing show-stopping group routines with slower paced sensual numbers giving both the audience and the dancers a moment to catch their breath. The level of skill on display is incredible it feels like a real privilege to see such talent up close in this intimate show. While the large screen behind the band gifts the audience with an opportunity to learn a little more about the dancers’ journeys from childhood to being here on the Lowry stage.
Backed by a superb six-piece live band, vocalists Tara McDonald and Patrick Smyth showcase their incredible talent as they take on the likes of Duran Duran, Shania Twain and Beyonce with ease. There’s a fantastic Disney tribute which sees MacDonald and Smyth deliver note perfect renditions of multiple Disney favourites including I Just Can’t Wait To be King and Be Our Guest, all while the pros perform fantastic accompanying routines.
Vicky Gill’s stunning costumes compliment Jason Gilkinson’s choreography wonderfully with costumes changes coming thick and fast throughout. There are feathers, sequins, capes and corsets, each costume perfectly in keeping with the style of that particular dance.
Special mention must go to the beautiful tribute to former Head Judge Len Goodman, which sees the pros deliver a stunning routine to John Farnham’s You’re the Voice performed perfectly by Patrick Smyth and Tara McDonald. Another super fun highlight is a dance off between the pros who have split into two teams, one in support of Beyonce the other Barry Manilow. It’s the mash up you never knew you needed!
Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals gives dance fans exactly what they want, it’s feelgood, fabulous, fun and will appeal to young and old alike. With 10’s across the board it’s the perfect Strictly fix!
Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals 2023 is on at the Lowry until Wednesday 10th May tickets available https://thelowry.com/whats-on/strictly-come-dancing-the-professionals-2023/