10:38 AM 8th November 2023
Song And Dance Showcase: An Evening With Anton Du Beke And Friends
An Evening With Anton Du Beke came to York Theatre Royal for one night only on Monday, November 6, and as the audience began to arrive, it was soon very clear that Anton has fans of all ages, from the very young to the very old, and all were full of anticipation at the thought of seeing him bring the magic of ballroom to the stage; his glossy souvenir programmes were selling like hot cakes.
When affable Anton first appeared on stage, poking fun at himself for having his name in lights, you knew you were in for a good night’s entertainment, and Mr Debonair definitely delivered!
This was no "Jump-On – The Strictly Bandwagon While You Can Show" (unlike some I’ve reviewed), but a star-studded extravaganza, featuring a talented, charismatic showman whose enthusiasm was infectious; he was in his element. Even if you weren’t strictly a Strictly fan, you couldn’t deny that here was a man with an electrifying stage presence.
Looking dapper and suave, Anton blended song, dance, banter, and anecdotes, along with his good friend, acclaimed vocalist Lance Ellington, an amazing live 8-piece band, and four dynamic dancers, creating a spellbinding experience for the packed audience.
It was a real treat to get up close to the King of Ballroom, who was so very at ease with his audience; comedy gold moments included banter with 82-year-old fan Sylvia and a running joke with Colleen in the audience, along with a heartwarming moment when he drew attention to 11-year-old Calvin on the front row in his golden sparkling jacket—a moment no doubt the young starry-eyed lad will treasure forever.
Anton & Rosie
Photo: York Theatre
Anton proved to be a natural stand-up comedian, with an amazing ability to ad-lib, and then in the next moment, wow us all with dazzling dances, not to mention all the wonderful song and dance routines. A particular highlight was when he was recalling his dance teacher asking him to perform a dramatic dance at the local care home—dramatic, he informed us with a twinkle in his eye—to keep the elderly residents awake! Suddenly, the stage was bathed in a deep red light, and he began a terrific tango with the dancers, one after the other—utterly mesmerising, richly deserving the thunderous applause that followed. The live band were superb all evening but exceeded themselves in this number; oh, the violin playing sent shivers up your spine. Simply stunning.
Photo: York Theatre
One wag in the Dress Circle bellowed as he answered questions sent to him by text, "You're better than I expected, Anton! ”, to which he roared with laughter and agreed wholeheartedly with her, as did the audience.
Magic was woven around the theatre auditorium that night. You can’t beat the experience of an audience being completely at one, enjoying quality entertainment live; a one-of-a –kind celebration of dance, music, and laughter. Len would definitely give it a 10!
Anton & Lance