Review: Kevin and Karen Dance 2018, Ipswich Regent, June 1

Kevin and Karen Dance 2018. Photo: Richard Haughton

Kevin and Karen Dance 2018. Photo: Richard Haughton - Credit: Richard Haughton

An enthusiastic audience welcomed Strictly Come Dancing stars, Kevin and Karen Clifton, to the Ipswich Regent for their live show and goodness me, they were in for a treat.

The couple, joined by seven other talented professionals, came out all guns blazing from the start with jaw dropping lifts and a high energy routine to Let Me Entertain You - and they proceeded to do just that.

Yes, this was a stunning dance extravaganza featuring a stylish mix of ballroom, Latin and modern choreography but it was so much more than that. It was entertainment for all with a fantastic band centre stage, two very talented singers, and a lot of heart.

The first half saw the couple battle for dance supremacy with a little Gloria Estefan versus Michael Jackson (nice moon walking Kev) followed by Elvis, Liza Minelli, Judy Garland and, of course, Beyonce, which saw shirtless male dancers gyrating to Crazy Right Now - gratuitous and I loved it.

The audience were not to be left out and after auditions, lucky winner, Dave, took part in a fabulous ballroom number to One Singular Sensation, complete with high kicks and feather boa - bravo.

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This took us to the interval, by which time I was already exhausted just watching.

Throughout the show, the ever charming Kevin (from Grimsby) had the crowd in the palm of his hand with his easy banter and comedy timing, while his wife Karen brought the sass and her own sense of cheeky fun. In fact, the relationship between the pair seemed stronger than ever, despite the elephant in the room (their words) - that they actually separated earlier this year.

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During the second half, Kevin made a heartfelt speech professing his continuing love for his wife and the couple performed a touching, bare foot routine to Come What May which earned them a standing ovation - who knew the people of Suffolk were so soppy and sentimental.

The audience were also on their feet to applaud the couple's passionate paso doble, their classy ballroom number to Let's Face the Music, and then to simply dance as they bought the show to a close with Shut Up and Dance with Me. Don't mind if we do.

Things I learned that night: Kevin can't rap, Karen likes to do 'running man', and dance is joy.

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