The House of Flamenka. Choreographers James Cousins & Francisco Hidalgo. The Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, London WC2A to 8 October 2022. 5*****. William Russell

This marvellous mixture of modern dance and flamenco created and directed by Arlene Phillips starring Karen Ruimy has to be the raunchiest show in town. It is allegedly set in the world of the goddess of music but for me it is quite simple all happening in the most luxurious brothel in town, a place of gilded images, vast drapes, lavish armchairs inhabited by the most amazing collection of statuesque creatures dressed in astonishing costumes, all spangle and leather, golden cloth and black feathers with towering head dresses into which Ruimy enter to sit down in her very own chair and be greeted by the beings. Then you notice that one of them seated on the sofa is being kissed by another one and that the one on the sofa is a man. So is the kisser. What follows is a splendid mix of modern dance choreographed by James Cousins and flamenco choreographed by Francisco Hidalgo danced by the twenty male performers in their different styles to a lot of percussion when it comes to the flamenco. It is an inspired mix, sensuous, exciting and getting more so as the lavish set decorations disappear and in act two it all takes place on a stage bare except for some skeletal platforms. It would be nice to credit individual dancers but essentially this is a corps de ballet doing its stuff each getting his turn to strut it. Ruimy meanwhile watches, joins in, changing her dress at regular intervals and sings between dances. Nothing like it has been seen if not before at least for ages. The costumes by Jasmine Swan are a marvel and her palace or brothel is something to dazzle. At the end Ruimy is in the middle of her men clad in not very much most of which seem to be silver crystals as they take their bows. It quite took my breath away.

Karen Ruimy

Alexander Love, Ashton Brent Hall, Borja Cortes, Carlos Quintana, Christopher Thomas, Cristian Lozano,Christian Rubio, Dan Baines, Felipe Cliviom Harry Ondrak-Wright, Hugo Sanchez, Ivan Amaya. Jonathan Luke Baker,Julio Ruiz, Keenan Fletcher, Liam Riddick, Miles Kearley, Nahum Mclean, Pablo Egea.

Set & Costume Design: Jasmin Swan.

Musicians: Calie Hough, Lauren Kosty.

Directed by Arlene Philips.

Choreographers: James Cousins, Francisco Hidalgo.

Production photographs: Pamela Raith.

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