Vivienne Kennedy visits the Bristol Hippodrome to watch Tango Moderno, the latest show from Strictly favourites Vincent and Flavia.
The show must go on.
That was the tough decision made by Flavia Cacace, producer Adam Spiegel, and the rest of the cast when it became apparent an hour or so before curtain up that a back injury sustained by Vincent Simone would prevent him from dancing on the show’s opening night in Bristol.
Spiegel’s (obviously heartfelt) explanation and apology, delivered from the stage at 7.30pm, got the audience completely on side. We knew we weren’t going to see the show we’d been expecting, but we were promised a good night, and that’s exactly what we got.
Vincent and Flavia’s previous show was meant to be the final one, it was even entitled The Last Tango, but they developed so many new routines they couldn’t fit them all in. So, they’re back on tour and they’ve put together a fantastic line-up of musicians, singers and dancers to accompany them. That cast were given the chance to shine last night in a slightly reduced version of the full show.
We loved the spoken word style narration from Tom Parsons, as well as the songs performed by both him and Rebecca Lisweski, and a breathtaking rendition of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Flight of the Bumblebee by violinist Oliver Lewis (the 2010 Guinness World’s Fastest Violinist).
And we loved the dance too – my favourites included a fantastic contemporary routine to 7 Years, a fast-paced jive to Are You Gonna Be My Girl, and the fabulous Bla Bla Bla Cha Cha Cha, which illustrates how we don’t put our smartphones down for anything!
Left partnerless, Flavia’s role became something of a cameo as she drifted in and out of scenes, looking like a youthful fairy godmother, casting spells and giving true love a helping hand as she match-made perfect couples. Ballroom and Latin aren’t dance genres that lend themselves to solos, but she did her very best and, as always, moved beautifully.
Hopefully Vincent will make a swift recovery and return to Flavia’s side later in the week, in which case I believe some of last night’s audience will have the chance to watch the show again. We send him our best wishes.
Tango Moderno is scheduled to play at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 16 September. Check with the theatre for further information.
Update from the Bristol Hippodrome, 3pm, Wednesday 13 September.
Due to an unexpected back injury, we regret that Vincent Simone is unable to perform and we have taken the hard decision to cancel this evening’s performance. We obviously would like to invite you to another performance later this week.
In the event that Vincent is unable to return to the stage this week, we have brought in a very talented dancer called Pasquale La Rocca, to partner with Flavia at very short notice. We know that this ensures the audience will enjoy as much of our show as possible which includes 10 dancers, 2 singers and a band with the wonderful Flavia Cacace.
The Bristol Hippodrome will call you today to make the necessary arrangements.
Image: Vincent Simone & Flavia Cacace star in Tango Moderno. Photo by Hugo Glendinning