As one who has never really watched â€œStrictly Come Dancing â€œ I had a touch of FOMO (fear of missing out) at the Kingâ€™s Theatre on Saturday night when I went to see â€œRip it Up 60sâ€.
Who were these megastars being greeted with whooping shouts by an enthusiastic audience? Aston Merrygold? Harry Judd? Louis Smith MBE? Never heard of them.
Well, what have I been missing! These boys can sure dance, and twirl, and contort, and bend, in the most graceful, gliding, acrobatic way. Backed by a troupe of equally nimble dancers, singers, and a band, the show brought to stomping high octane life the glorious music of the 60s – a decade never bettered in my humble opinion.
Itâ€™s a formula used before for â€œRip it Up 50sâ€ and will no doubt be used for a few decades more, but it works. Compered by Ant Brant, the format is that of a TV tribute being made – a rather usual trope these days. The music is presented in sets – The Summer of Love, Surfinâ€™ USA, Mods & Rockers, and so on, and each showcase a particular type of music.
Live introduction is shown on a giant screen, which is then intercut with filmed commentary by Lulu or Tony Blackburn about the music, interspersed with historical footage, psychedelic images, and mock ups of the cast in role. The live singing and dancing then kicks in for each set. Itâ€™s high energy, good fun entertainment, with the superb dancing not quite matched at times by slightly weaker singing, although Jill Marie Cooper was consistently good in dramatic presentation. Thereâ€™s an interview at mid point with the 3 male stars, much to the delight of the audience, and as Harry Judd says, its a lot harder work than 2 minutes dancing on Strictly.
The show is on a nationwide tour until October 31st, which means a lot of hoofing and a lot of adrenaline. Edinburgh was early on in the tour, and the rapturous audience reception must have given the cast a welcome power boost to speed them off along the road to Glasgow.
Kingâ€™s Theatre September 15th
The production is transferring to the West End’s Garrick Theatre for a limited season this January 2019. For up to date show and venue information, go to: