Review: Burn the Floor, Shaftsbury Theatre

I didn’t really know what to expect when I went to see Burn the Floor at the Shaftsbury theatre. The only thing I did know was that there would be a lot of sequins.
And I was right…I was in for a sequin sizzling, feather flouncing, muscle bulging bonanza of an evening.

Now, if I’m being honest, the show started off badly, with one of the dancers coming out into the audience to pick on unsuspecting men to come and dance with her and give her a peck on the cheek. Needless to say it was cringetastic, and not in the good way. My friend and I looked at each other with a look of “Oh god, what have we let ourselves in for?!”

But, once we got past the toe curling start I was pleasantly surprised. The show is billed as the “ultimate ballroom sensation” and by gum it was a sensation all right.

One of the main draws of the show I imagine is for those who are fans of Strictly Come Dancing as Robin Windsor, Kristina Rihanoff and Karen Hauer all star in this Westend version. And you could tell – every time one of them appeared in stage there was lots of whooping and clapping. The audience loved it.

Even though the show is headlined by Robin and Kristina, each dancer is given the spotlight at some point during the evening to showcase their charisma and the extensive wardrobe designed by Bret Hooper. The costumes were fun, adventurous and plentiful. In fact, the dancers had so many wardrobe changes even Clark Kent would have envied their speed.

While the costumes are dazzling and matched brilliantly to the scenes and dances they are set to, there’s no story line to the show. At first I was concerned that the dancing would soon become tedious but I needn’t have worried because what absolutely makes the show is the pure and unadulterated nonstop energy from start to finish. The dancers flew through randy rumbas, jives and salsas but were also equally stunning when it came to turn it down a notch for sedate and delicate waltzes.

Each dance is set to music delivered by live singers, but these guys were a bit much for my taste because, as with Strictly, it must be difficult to find singers who are skilled enough to sing such a variety of songs and sing them well. So by the end of the show, you are on the brink of feeling as if you are on a cruise ship as you listen to them warble on. Having said that, even though the singers may lend a tacky vibe to the proceedings and the costumes are all very flashy, that’s what makes the whole thing so thoroughly enjoyable.

My favourite number was most definitely the high octane dancing set to Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary”. Imagine the most fun, sparkly thing you can and times it by 100 and that’s what this was like.

More than once during the show my friend turned to me with a whispered “this is so amazing!” and she was right, Burn the Floor is definitely the most fun I’ve had at the theatre in a long time.

Click for Burn The Floor tickets and more information

Words by Claire Mason

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