2017 saw Karen and Kevin Clifton’s first UK tour, it was a touching yet high energy show that charted the perfect romance of the couple’s love story from their days on Broadway with Burn the Floor, their selection as Strictly professionals, and marriage. The wholesome, feelgood display that made it impossible not to get swept up in the heartwarming spirit of it all. There were gushing declarations of love before passionate rumbas and tangos. The whole production, skillfully created by Jason Gilkison left me a little giddy. Fast forward just 12 months and things are a little different, and it takes two professionals such as the Cliftons to handle it with the grace, confidence and authenticity that they do.
The opening act is a slightly disjointed affair with too much cheerful chit chat and (initially at least) too little dance. The pair are keen to address the news of their split with humour and honesty yet Kevin’s over enthusiastic storytelling wears a little thin if you’re not here for the Strictly gossip, and we eagerly wait for content.
This year’s show is loosely based on those who inspired the pair to pursue dance careers and to start, each Clifton dances a host of separate numbers inspired by their dance idols; Gloria Estefan, Liza Minnelli and Beyonce for Karen, Michael Jackson, Fred Astaire and Elvis for Kevin. Numbers between the two Strictly stars are few and far between with this opening act doing it’s best to paint them as opposites – Karen as the tall, tanned Venezuelan beauty, Kevin as the pasty white lad from Grimsby.
Read the full review in Dancing Times – July 2018