Here Come The Boys. The London Palladium. 4 ****. William Russell

Given the energy levels of this glittering sequin studded dance show headed by five guys from Strictly one does wonder how long they can keep coming. For fans it has everything one could wish for, although it really is too long and has a disastrous opening seven minutes when a compere, who moonlights as a fake disc jockey later on, performs an abysmal act making silly noises with his mike. They should have stuck with Karim Zeroual, Strictly winner, who also prances about a lot, talks from time to time, and has considerable charm.
As for the boys, top banana is Alijaz, who exudes elegance, followed by Pasha, who is sweetly boyish, Graziano doing the Latin lover stuff, and Robin who is there for those who like there men a bit weather beaten. They could not be improved up, dance up a storm, buttocks clenched and shirts undone, while a collection of sequinned women led by Nadine, a Tippi Hedren type blonde who wears a lot of fringes on her costumes to make her different from the other girls, partner them and throw their legs in the air with the greatest of ease.
At just over two and a half hours it is a shade too long and there is a sameness about the routines which is a pity – choreographer Gareth Walker also directed and while the pace never relaxes the choreography is not really inspired. It is one thing to dazzle wheeling an amateur around the Strictly floor, another doing it with fellow professionals so the star turns each gets to show their strengths could have been better planned. But the boys do deliver what they deliver on screen – immaculate smiles, loads of charm and just a hint of danger. It is also far too loud – ear splitting as well as eye popping.
In due course the show will go on tour which is really where it belongs – at the end of a pier rather than the stage of the Palladium.
Social distance is preserved and means no longer is one’s view of the stage blocked by the head of the man mountain in the row in front as they are two rows in front. Masks were worn but if you had taken in drinks or something to eat it was OK to take them off while sipping and nibbling.

The Boys
Alijaz, Graziano, Pasha, Robin & Karim.
Head Girl
Director and Choreographer – Gareth Walker.
Sound Design – Tom Cix
Costume Designer – Frances Campbell.
The tour will start in March 2022 at the Hall for Cornwall in Truro and end at Portsmouth on April 30 with a final week in London at the Peacock Theatre.

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