Theatre Review: The Last Tango
I had no idea what to expect from The Last Tango. I knew who its stars were, of course – Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone who had graced our TV screens in the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, and who had been dancing partners for years – and I knew this was their last tour together. But that was all. And that was all I wanted to know. It’s not often that one can attend the theatre and be surprised by what one sees, so instead of googling, instead of asking, I went with an open mind, sure I would see wonderful, exquisite dancing, and unsure of everything else.
I was not disappointed.
I was certainly surprised.
The premise is a clever set up. An elderly man is rooting through his attic, sorting out bits and bobs. He is, it would see, having a clear out, and perhaps it’s time; his loft is jam packed full of artefacts from his life. His son – unseen – has clearly been pushing him to do this for some time now, and it’s a job that has been put off. Perhaps for years. Perhaps not. The time frame doesn’t matter.
The point is, he can remember up there. On his own, sorting through suitcases and trunks, wardrobes and jacket pockets, he discovers his past, and that of his wife. Each item brings back a memory so vivid that he can see it right there in front of his eyes, elegant and dazzling. The audience can see it too, and the dancing takes us through his story. There are laughs and good times, there are tears and sad times. It’s a beautiful love story, but one that isn’t some Hollywood fabrication – it feels real (the chemistry between Vincent and Flavia certainly helps), and it feels as though it could belong to any one of us. If we’re lucky.
And that final dance, the last tango itself, is an explosion of love, of passion, of life.
The Last Tango runs at the Orchard Theatre until 31st October 2015.