*press tickets in return for an honest review
A magical journey through Nadiya and Kai’s world of dance and romance.
From BBC’s Strictly to a UK tour, Nadiya Bychkova and Kai Widdrington, the on and off-screen couple have waltzed, jived and foxtrotted their way to Leicester and are here to entertain and share their ‘journey through the world of dance, and our new journey together’, and what an energetic and powerful performance it is.
Opening up, fans of the couple won’t be able to hold back their oohs and ahhs as the projection screens display videos first of a young Kai and then a young Nadiya. These screens will stay onstage for the entire production, sometimes providing backdrops and other times used as a projection of the other to engage with. Both of them oozed stage presence from the get go as they rather adorably individually introduced and talked about the other to the audience.
It’s evident that they have a lot of love for one another and the chemistry is undeniably brought to the stage, especially during the slower numbers that they perform alone, such as “Perfect” and “A Lovely Night“. The standout performance where emotions were really accelerated and brought to the stage for me was during the duet to Celine Dion’s power ballad “Because You Loved Me”. The pair really pulled on the heartstrings with a heartwarming speech and dedicated this stunning performance to their families. The lifts and connection in this number rippled through the audience with electrifying goosebumps.
Although I was expecting outstanding dancing, I hadn’t quite expected that I would laugh so much. Kai was a sleek showman who was clearly extremely comfortable both on stage and in the company of Nadiya. They bounced off once another with ease, Nadiya was truly very sweet and Kai’s impersonations and the way he got the audience involved was a highlight.
But it’s not all slow dances and ballroom chat. Instead, audiences will be delighted by a stunning take on A Cinderella Story, fiery performances and Nadiya’s girl power medley performance is simply outstanding.
The production is complemented by lead vocalist, Tomas Wolstenholme (previously Choir of Man and ONCE West End Cast) who not only provides beautiful vocals but also brings an element of comedy to the performance with one liners and mannerisms. Whether it’s a stripped back performance of ‘Billionaire’ with a guitar and Kai or the comedic number ‘My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock’, Tomas was a showman through and through.
The onstage cast is completed with Dance Captain Chloe Hewitt, Adam Brunyee, Jasmine Chan, Margot Weeda, Oliver Beardmore and Ruben Rodriguez. The cast bring a complementary element to the performance but offer stunning performances by their own rights. I especially enjoyed their Blackpool Memories in Act I, the stunning display of ‘Sway’ and the visually impressive performance of ‘Bad Romance.’
A simple set allowed for the dance and the costumes to take centre stage. Kai had proudly boasted that Nadiya has a passion for fashion and dreamt of the fashion world, having previously worked modelling as the face for Michael Kors amongst other accolades and wow did the show deliver for stunning costumes. Dresses to die for either for the way they caught the light or just pure and simple elegance. Kai had his fair share of fancy pieces too, whether it was his Prince Charming outfit an array of tuxedos or suits with braces. There were plenty of costumes to admire.
If you’re looking for an uplifting night out with powerful performances, heaps of energy, flawless dancing and the chance to hear about the dancing journey and beyond from world champions Nadiya and Kai, then this is an unmissable performance for you. Budding dancers, strictly fans and dance lovers, quickstep over for tickets before it’s too late!
De Montfort Hall, Leicester 01 APR
Running time: 2 hours including a 20 minute interval
Age Recommendation: Suitable for all ages but under 14’s must be accompanied by an adult
Co-creators and Choreography by Nadiya Bychkova & Kai Widdrington
Directed and Choreographed by Scott Coldwell
Produced by Steven Howard for the TCB Group
Watch the reel below:
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