It was my birthday treat last weekend (delayed from February) and my wife whisked me away from the working from home routine to see Midnight Tango, starring Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone - two of the dancers from Strictly Come Dancing.
The tango has been a big inspiration to my writing ever since I saw Moulin Rouge in the cinema and was captivated by the Roxanne dance number. My novel Working from home: Mixing business with pleasure? was written to a soundtrack of classic and modern tango music and the climax of the book is set within a tango dance scene.
I’m not a huge fan of Strictly Come Dancing as I tend to drift off during some of the ballroom dances and usually have to mute Bruce Forsythe (he's not my favourite), but I’ve often said that I can watch Flavia Cacace dance for hours.
Midnight Tango is set wholly in a bar in Argentina and the plot is very simple. It is about the drinkers having fun, the comic squabbling of the bar owners and a love triangle between Flavia, Vincent and a dashing intruder (played by Leonel di Cocco) who seduces Flavia.
It is light, energetic and fun until Leonel di Cocco appears and he nearly steals the show, bristling with sexual menace and style. I really want to be like him when I grow up.
I won’t give away the ending but the dance steps, particularly those of Flavia and Vincent, are bewilderingly fast and exquisitely done. You could hear (and feel) the audience holding their breath during some of their routines and Flavia was simply mesmeric.
My only criticism is that there was only one slow tango dance and while this was beautifully done it left me wanting more. Oh yes, and whilst Vincent’s dancing was impeccable he was not really given scope to show his cheeky personality (until he started egging the audience on for more encores).
Whilst this show is a vehicle for the considerable talents of Flavia and Vincent, it is far from being just about them. I’ve already mentioned one of the dancers but there were five other couples who looked like they were born to tango and the bar owners provided comic interludes and got one of the loudest applauses at the end.
However, it was not all about the dancing. They are accompanied by a fantastic tango band Tango Siempre who launched into song after song - many of which are old friends from my writing soundtrack. Coupled with a high class singer, Miguel Angel, whose deep, mellow voice filled the theatre; it was a fantastic tango experience.
I was miffed to have to pay £4 for a programme though; especially as it was mostly advertising. For £2 you can buy a complete novel ebook (Working from home: Mixing business with pleasure?) that will make you laugh and maybe even make you dance.See what I did there?