“Licence to thrill – delivers a superb performance”
by Scott Matthewman – The Stage
Brendan Cole: Licence To Thrill
Published Monday 21 January 2013 at 12:10 by Scott Matthewman – The Stage
2012 was a big year for James Bond and also saw Strictly Come Dancing hit a purple patch, so it seems inevitable that a theatre show should combine both elements.
In truth, Brendan Cole’s dance show is a little lighter on Bond music than its publicity would suggest – although it does allow Cole to place a few well-aimed barbs at former celebrity partner, and Bond chanteuse, Lulu – but that’s no bad thing. This lively romp through the ballroom and Latin repertoire covers a far greater range of musical styles than one film franchise could offer.
Cole’s easy-going banter with the audience, including anecdotes about his newborn baby, suggests that he has left the truculent persona he acquired in Strictly’s first years behind – although the occasional glare offstage when pyrotechnics don’t quite work show that his passion for the best possible performance remains.
Cole is helped by the dancers he has assembled for this show – his brother Scott, Patrick Helm, Melanie Hooper and Crystal Main – all deliver superb performances. But it is Fauve Hautot who stands out, every bit the match for Cole in a range of dance styles, culminating in a beautiful English waltz.
This is the sort of show that serves the Strictly audience better than the official tour of cavernous arena spaces. It also demonstrates Cole’s increasing confidence as an all-round entertainer – even if his singing shows that his Saturday night appearances belong on BBC1 rather than that other show on ITV.
As a Professional Dancer on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Brendan Cole has wowed millions of British television viewers in all 9 and soon to be 10 Series of the BBC’s hit TV show. As well as lifting the winners Trophy with Natasha Kaplinsky back in series one, he has partnered many different television personalities throughout the years. In 2008 dancing with Lisa Snowdon, they reached the final and despite receiving perfect scores from the judges (something never previously achieved in the show’s history), couldn’t improve on third place. Partnering Kelly Brook in 2007, as potential front-runners with the bookies, the pair went from strength to strength throughout the series. Sadly due to the passing of Kelly’s father they chose to withdraw from the competition to allow Kelly to be with her family. Other partners on the show include Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams, former model Jo Wood, TV Presenter Fiona Phillips, actresses Claire King and Sarah Manners and Lulu. In a one off Christmas Special, he also partnered Supermodel Rachel Hunter.www.bbc.co.uk/strictlycomedancing