Following a successful tour, the Strictly stars arrive in London’s West End for a residency at the iconic Palladium.

Here Come The Boys enjoyed a successful UK tour during 2019 and, with lockdown measures easing across the country, it’s one of the first shows to open in the West End this year. The premise is straightforward – Strictly Come Dancing stars Aljaž Škorjanec, Pasha Kovalev, Graziano di Prima, Robin Windsor and Karim Zeroual, alongside special guest Nadiya Bychkova, take the stage for a series of dances in different styles. We were treated to a wide variety including Ballroom, Jive, Swing, Salsa and more besides.

The format works well. We had reservations as to whether two hours of dancing would be able to hold our attention throughout, but the show is broken down into bitesize chunks and interspersed with some entertaining banter. There are four dance-offs over the course of the evening, giving the performers plenty of opportunities to shine with the spotlight firmly on them, but also a number of larger group performances. There was a section which focused on personal heroes which was a highlight, as was a segment inspired by recent TikTok dance challenges.

There’s plenty of fun to be had here. This is not a show that demands much of its audience – we’re simply there to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. The dancers are evidently extremely technically proficient and bring lots of energy to the stage. As well as the stars, the ensemble cast impress with their moves, and the show’s DJ Bass6 keeps us entertained with a great playlist and some genuinely impressive beatboxing skills. Of course there are plenty of costume changes throughout, with shiny sequins galore.

It’s an entertaining show, undoubtedly – Here Come The Boys delivers exactly what it says on the tin. Strictly fans who want a fun night out at the theatre are sure to enjoy it, and there’s enough else going on to ensure that even the most casual of dance fans will be entertained. It’s cheesy and somewhat predictable – we guessed how the spoils would be divided in the dance-offs way in advance – but during these trying times there’s plenty of comfort to be taken from an evening of safe entertainment.

GAY TIMES gives Here Come The Boys – 3/5

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