Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals

Reviewed by Nikki Cotter

Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals arrived at The Lowry last night for the start of a 36-date UK tour and is as sequined and as sparkly as the glitterball trophy!

The huge success of the BBC TV show has led not just to the live arena tour which features celebrities from the show but also this highly polished and slick dance extravaganza featuring ten of the shows much-loved professionals.

From salsas to sambas SCD – The Professionals has it all, no expense is spared in this glittering celebration of all things dance. There are show-stopping group numbers which fizz with energy, sensual slow routines as well as perfect pairings where the technique and skill of each professional truly shines.

Backed by a six-piece live band of incredible musicians, vocalists Tara McDonald and Patrick Smyth breeze through a whole host of singalong favourites from Beyoncé to Coldplay. Their vocal range is outstanding, with McDonald delivering a pitch perfect Defying Gravity that Idina Menzel would be proud of, while Smyth almost convinces us Michael Hutchence is in the room with his stunning rendition of Never Tear Us Apart.

And now to the dancing…in a word, sensational! The pace is quick and the energy high ensuring momentum never wanes. In between the lavish group dances each of the professionals are given the opportunity to discuss their dance journey, their experience with Strictly and their favourite moments from the show as beautiful childhood pictures appear on a huge screen behind them. The Professionals give the audience exactly what they want, stunning routines that wow and a glimpse into their personal lives summed up beautifully by Gorka Marquez who proudly announces without the show he’d never have met the love of his life.

Vicky Gill’s costumes add a visual richness with changes coming thick and fast, each time as stunning as the last complimenting Jason Gilkison’s incredible choreography which both tugs on the heartstrings and makes you beam with joy. From Dianne Buswell’s Aussie Rock inspired sequence to Karen Hauer’s sizzling Latin American style we’re taken around the world in this dance spectacular.

Personal highlights for me were the 1920’s Speakeasy spin on Beyoncé’s Crazy In Love and the joyful finale celebrating British Pop all the way from the Spice Girls to The Proclaimers!

This glittering night makes for a FAB-U-LOUS fixture on the touring circuit filling the Strictly void until the new series begins in the autumn. Appealing to both young and old alike and judging by the roaring standing ovation on opening night it’ll be 10’s across the board on every stop of the tour!

Strictly Come Dancing The Professionals is on at The Lowry today (Friday 29th) at 2pm and 7:30pm tickets available here.