Tango Moderno Review

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – until 17 February.  Reviewed by Karen Millington Burnet

5*****

Wow; high energy and intense. This is the story of growing up and finding love, fuelled by the cupid of Tango.  A dazzling performance by a young and incredibly athletic troupe who deserve a five star rating – the display of abdominal sculpting was almost intimidating; the dancers carried not an ounce of superfluous weight and the whole cast were models of athletic physique – the lifts appeared effortless and were just so impressive.  

The humour, dazzling musicianship (especially from Oliver Lewis on his violin), gymnastics on top of the balletic dancing, merging with a street feel made for a wonderful display.  I was slightly unnerved by the “John Wick” look-alike’s worldly wisdom; “ your future is behind you” and “you start life by living it”, but in fact Tom Parsons’ narrative and increasingly impressive singing gave structure to the unfolding story.  Together with Rebecca Lisweski, the singing got better as the evening progressed.

The same must be said for Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace; my early sense was that they were a bit superfluous to the story, but as the performance progressed I came to appreciate their role more fully and by the last number I was simply blown away with their Tango.  Never be tempted to leave early after the final bow of the cast – these two delivered just the finest Tango routine it’s been my privilege ever to see; high octane, high precision and superbly executed – a true joy.   

I have to admit to being disappointed by an auditorium only half full and of the “older” demographic when this show really should appeal to a young set as well.

The evening was enhanced – thank you Mayflower – by a decent set of speakers so every word and note were decipherable; hallelujah! And full marks to the set designer and lighting team. A good solid performance from both which ably supported the cast.

All in all, we went into the evening not knowing what to expect and it only got better.

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