In 2012 Amanda Whittington was awarded the Making Tracks bursary to research a new piece of work and where did she head? Blackpool…for it’s annual dance festival. This, along with being a fan of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, was the main influence for this tale of star studded sequins and fabulous frocks.
This bittersweet comedy reveals the backstage stories behind the competitive circuit, fixed smiles and fake tan, looking at the real lives of those for whom dancing is everything.
Kiss me Quickstep is a Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch and New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich production. The show consists of 3 pairs of dancers, each with a separate story that often overlaps with others.
My favourite pair were Justin and Jodie, played by David Birch and Vicki Lee Taylor, playing the underdogs. David had great comic timing but also fantastic dancing skills, while also representing Justin’s emotional and physical issues. Vicki is a fantastic dancer and had great expression, representing the pains people are willing to go through to win.
One of my favorite moments of the night has to be attributed to Michelle Bishop and Joshua Lay who play Samantha and Nancy. The two of them bring their dancing harmony to the show, gliding like swans and using their skills to perform scenes in synchronisation, showing that dancing can be used for comic purposes.
Adrian Klein does a a great job of playing the Russian dancer Luka, performing the whole night in a Russian accent and performing alongside Abigail Middleton, who plays Nancy.
With seating on the stage and lights above the audience, you can’t help but feel like one of the parts. As I walked in I felt like asking ‘Will I be called upon to dance up on stage?’
In her interview with The Queen’s Theatre, Amanda Whittington said that when she went to the World Championships something she wasn’t expecting was to see ‘the dancers preparing in full view of the audience, with backstage actually being part of the ballroom’ and this show has that feeling around it. It’s as if the theatre had forgotten to put up a curtain and the audience is peering into the rooms backstage. The cast perform so smoothly it just feels natural.
I seriously give the 5 out of 5 stars
Catch Kiss Me Quickstep at The Queen’s Theatre until the 9th of March and then goes to Ipswich Wed 13 – Sat 23 March