The show has a modest story told entirely through dance, with some live singing, and is given some genuinely nice comic touches via an older couple who own the "bar" where all the dancing takes place. A six piece band provides most of the music. You won't be surprised to hear that the music of the awesome Astor Piazzolla features heavily, and this is just fine by me. The music was great, having the band on stage worked very well - just tucked into a corner. Sometimes the singers stood in the middle and the dancers nicely snaked around. Costumes were, for the most part, 1940s style and gorgeous. I'd happily wear a lot of the women's outfits, and all the men's hats. Tiny quibble about the hats though - it does mean you can't see people's faces, especially if you're not sitting in the flat seating on the ground floor. Flavia and Vincent's costumes were naturally more elaborate, and her own style was very recognisable, and dare I say it, out of sync with the rest of the cast.
And so to the dancing, which was just fabulous. Vincent & Flavia are listed as the principle choreographers, though no doubt, renowned West End producer & choreographer, Arlene Philips, had some input, since her production company is backing Midnight Tango. I also recognised Karen Bruce, the director of this show, from the Strictly stable. Argentine Tango is a tight, intimate near-battle between partners, with lots of flicking legs, called ganchos, and postures that wouldn't look amiss in a yoga class. It originated in, shocker now, Buenos Aires at the end of the 19th century and quickly spread to Europe, where it became popular. At that time, most dancing was choreographed, so the freedom of expression within the A.T. was something of a revolution. Props such as hats, chairs and tables feature heavily in professional performances. Vincent & Flavia have been dancing together for about 10 years so they are perfectly in sync: they look like they've just made it all up on the spot. Flavia gets thrown around so much, she must weigh almost nothing. Naturally in a show like this, other dance styles come into it (rumba, samba, etc) but it's mostly about the tango.
The show runs for a quite short (understandably) 2 hours including the intermission. The theatre was mostly full last night and standing ovations were happily given. I'm actually going to see it again on Saturday, so I'll be interested to see how a Saturday night, final performance compares to an opening night.
Tickets are still available for performances which run until the 9th, priced between €35 and €50. On a side note, it was absolutely lashing last night, so if you're going along, make sure you've got weather protection or punctual friends. Every time I go to the GCT, I'm annoyed that I can't wait inside if I'm not the person who has the tickets. It's a stupid system, which is, no doubt, losing them drinks money. /end rant