Blackpool audiences to have a ball with Brendan Cole
The Tower Ballroom it ain't. It isn't even the Empress Ballroom. But one thing's for certain Blackpool audiences will have a ball - and a ballroom - the moment Brendan Cole steps onto the stage tomorrow night.
Not to mention A Night to Remember and not just because that’s the title of the show...
For all it’s a flying visit on an extensive tour Blackpool’s become an adopted home for the graceful New Zealander by dint of all those visits to the Tower Ballroom with the Strictly Come Dancing crew.
Just as Blackpool’s taken the two great stalwarts of Strictly to their hearts - Brendan and Aton du Beke - they return the favour.
And it doesn’t end with the show or the results either, not with the likes of Zoe Ball, who grew up in Blackpool, leading her own tour of the local hotspots after dark to ensure everyone leaves having sampled the definitive Blackpool experience.
Back in a town he now knows like the back of his hand Brendan’s become a firm favourite in his own right. His earlier tours Licence to Thrill and Live and Unjudged both came to Blackpool too and to rave reviews. As with Strictly at the Tower, Brendan at the Opera House has become a highlight of the calendar. And he’s the first to admit the resort holds good memories.
“It’s a great place and it has such a history associated with dance.”
The show also represents a chance for the irrepressible dancer to be himself. He hosts the show, is happy to answer questions from the audience, as well as present the cast of 20 and the programme of music, ballroom, Latin dance and more,
Brendan’s danced since he was six - and he’s long been keen to encourage children to discover the joys of dance for himself, setting up the Brendan Cole Performing Arts Academy to give children aged seven to 16 the opportunity.
A Night to Remember revisits last year’s winning format with a new leading lady and up to the minute choreography - one of Brendan’s key strengths. It also gives him an overnighter on the busy tour as he plays Preston Guild Hall tonight.
The charismatic choreographer relishes the chance to rise to the challenge of one of Britain’s biggest venues - the Opera House.
“It’s the biggest we go to actually, proper old school, and you can’t help feeling you are sharing the stage with true masters of the business.”
It also gives him the chance to show off some more daring moves.
“You can really spread out on the stage and do incredible stuff.”
Just as the Blackpool ‘Strictly’ is the highlight of the popular dance show’s programme - bar the final - Brendan doesn’t want to lose the intimacy of dancing.
“Every year the show seems to get bigger. At the heart has to be the dance.”
• A Night to Remember, 7.30pm tomorrow, Opera House, Blackpool.