REVIEW: A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER @ THEATRE ROYAL DRURY LANE
🎭 Aljaž and Janette: A Christmas To Remember
📍 Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine Street, London, WC2B 5JF
🗓 Monday 12th December 2022
A FESTIVE SPECTACULAR
Best known for their appearances as professionals on Strictly Come Dancing, married couple Aljaž Skorjanec and Janette Manrara are currently touring an epic dance show A Christmas To Remember and on Monday they played at London's famous Theatre Royal Drury Lane and I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the matinee performance.
The set up of the show is that the couple are counting down the 12 days of Christmas and are sharing with us their favourite things about the festivities. As well as showing off their sensational dance skills, they invite the audience into their lives and share personal stories and pictures. It was lovely how they shared stories of spending alternating Christmas's in Miami and Slovenia.
We already know that Manrara is a great presenter and she really knows how to work an audience, but Skorjanec is brilliant too and very funny. The two of them together is lovely to witness and you feel a real warmth coming from the pair.
The couple obviously dance together throughout, but each has their own lead professional partner, and in my opinion it is in these combinations where they really shine. Partnering Skorjanec is Faye Huddleston. The two together are beautifully elegant as they perform a sublime waltz which wows the audience.
Robbie Kmetoni is the parter of Manrara, and their salsa is out of this world. The two have a great trust and understanding of each other which leads to an epic partnership.
Alongside Huddleston and Kmetoni, the line-up of dancers is completed by four other fantastic performers. Kiera Brunton, Alex Sturman, Aimee Hipson and Nick Stuart are all phenomenal dancers and are each given a chance to shine which is lovely.
The entire show is directed and choreographed by Gareth Walker and his wealth of experience and talent really shows is the amazing routines he has put together.
This production also has two fantastic live singers which really adds to the performance. I honestly expected all the singing to be on track so was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of the singers.
Adrian Hansel had a wonderfully smooth and sexy voice that effortlessly filled the auditorium. He is a real performer and I loved the way he interacted with the dancers.
Janine Johnson is a real powerhouse and has a lovely tone to her voice. She transitions between elegant ballads and big belters with effortless ease. Her version of Let It Go during the Disney section of the show was fantastic and flawless. To be able to sing this song on the very stage that Frozen plays on every night must have been very special for her.
The biggest surprise of the show for me was when both Manrara and Skorjanec also sang. They duetted together on Baby, It's Cold Outside and Manrara also gave a stunning performance of Santa Baby. Skorjanec will admit that he's not the greatest singer but he was a joy to watch perform.
What I loved most about this show was just how personal it felt. You can tell it's a real labour of love. Also, even though it is essentially an Alijaž and Janette show, every other performer feels just as important and is very much a part of the production.
If you're looking for a feel-good festive night out then you don't want to miss A Christmas To Remember. There's not many dates left so head to the website www.achristmastoremember.co.uk for show information, tour dates and to book tickets.
All views are my own and I pride myself on being honest and free from influence.