AS a fan of the phenomenon that is strictly, I waltzed into the Royal Concert Hall dreaming of sequins and glamour with a healthy dose of talent.
Throw in the fact that the show is directed by the strictest of judges, Craig Revel Horwood, and , Strictly Confidential promised to be a show-stopping entertainment.
What we received was a mixture of dance and documentary. Sometimes it worked. There were touching moments such as Lisa Riley's dedication to her late mother, My Daughters Eyes, but at times real life blurred into fairytale.
You could be forgiven for thinking Revel Horwood might have been inspired by nipping next door to the Theatre Royal to watch Hairspray then hastily wrote a version but without the big production.
There was also some dubious comedy in the form of the Emmerdale ballet.
Thankfully, there was some brilliant choreography from ballroom to Latin and jive.
The beautiful Natalie Lowe was amazing. Teamed with the dashing Ian Waite, they made it look effortless.
The loudest cheer of the night was saved for Artem Chigvintsev, although teaming him with Lisa Riley didn't quite work.
Undeniably her dancing has improved immensely and with bags of enthusiasm she can dance the socks off most, but it is in her role as presenter that she excels, using the same warmth and personality that won over a TV audience which now holds the whole production together.
The breaks to chat in the show make it seem a little stilted at times. Just as it gets going, it stops again.
All the elements of Strictly are there to make it a success, right from a showbiz staircase to the able musicians and from the chiffon to the sequins.
Credit also to the team of talented backing dancers.
It's an evening of harmless entertainment and I enjoyed it, but you can't help but feel that some exceptionally talented performers have been given a weak vehicle. That said, with feelgood factor by the bucket load, the cast quite deservedly enjoyed a standing ovation.
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
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