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Brendan Cole

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had this feeling that if I was really enjoying myself, then time must be flying by, and last night at The Ipswich Regent, I had that same feeling!

Brendan Cole may have parted company with Strictly Come Dancing, but he’s certainly not parted company with dancing – along with a little bit of singing, playing guitar and all round entertaining.

The show, entitled ‘Brendan Cole – Show Man’ kicked off with a lively performance to the well-known soundtrack from the film ‘The Greatest Showman’ with Brendan taking centre stage alongside his seven beautiful dancers – 3 ladies (including local favourite Crystal Main) and 4 male Italian dancers – all of whom worked seamlessly together to please the crowd on a chilly February evening. Added to the mix was a small chorus of children from the Ipswich performing arts troupe ‘Stage Coach’ which added a real local flavour to the stage. Another East Anglian addition on stage, new for this year, was the hugely talented guitarist Nick Fitch (a Norwich lad!) and it was a delight to hear Brendan give his parents – who were in the audience – a shout out and a warm welcome.

Having seen Brendan a few times before, I knew I’d also have some fabulous vocals and brilliant musicians to look forward to during the performance, and wasn’t disappointed! The fantastic Iain Mackenzie provided lead vocals on songs such as ‘Purple Rain’ (with a moving rumba danced alongside) and ‘Roxanne’ (cue theatrical Argentine tango!) and a handful of Michael Bublé favourites, while West End sensation Jenna Lee James (who has played Scaramouche recently in ‘We Will Rock You’ and has also been on tour with THE Hugh Jackman!) matched Iain wonderfully on their amazing rendition of Despacito (while the dancers had us hypnotised with a sexy salsa) and had us clapping along to ‘Shut Up and Dance’. Quite honestly, I’d happily pay to go and see the band and singers alone, so having the opportunity to see them all come together with phenomenal dancing is an absolute treat.

Sadly, Brendan had recently announced that this year would be his last tour with a live ‘big band’ which I feel is a huge shame, and this was slightly evident last night as he didn’t have his usual brass section playing alongside the hugely talented other band members – some of whom have been touring with Brendan for the last five years. To think that these fantastic singers and incredible dancers might be performing only to a backing track would be a travesty – so let’s hope that this ‘Showman’ will ‘show up’ with a U-turn and will hopefully return to Ipswich again next year with a full complement of wonderful performers to once again raise the rafters at The Ipswich Regent!

For more information on Brendan Cole and his upcoming shows visit www.brendancolelive.com.