Strictly Come Dancing’s “Mr Debonair” Anton du Beke tells Peter Anderson about his upcoming show in Guildford, together with dance partner Erin Boag.
Dance those Magic Musicals will present a marvellous world in which ballroom meets musical theatre with song and dance numbers set to iconic shows which have delighted audiences for decades.
Anton and Erin will be joined on stage by a sensational West End dance ensemble to present dances to Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, 42nd Street and many other well-known musicals. They will be accompanied by the London Concert Orchestra conducted by Richard Balcombe who has also arranged the music, and the brilliant star vocalist Lance Ellington who may well be joined by Anton in some numbers!
I wondered, with this wide variety of musicals, which was Anton’s favourite decade for dance in musicals? “It’s not a choice I could make,” he laughs. “Each had some brilliant points, from the “big bands” of the 1920s, of which I’m a great fan, through to the spectacular choreography of Busby Berkeley to the incredible musicals between the 1950s and more recent times with shows like Wicked and Jersey Boys.”
Anton says this will be more a show-within-a-show with a selection of music from each musical, and then of course all the evenings will conclude with the now popular Q&A session with Anton and Erin. A desire by the couple to stretch themselves means neither of them have choreographed any of the numbers in the show that has fallen to Nikki Woollaston. As well as choreographing a number of Anton & Erin’s recent tours, Nikki has also choreographed many operas and musicals including Oklahoma at the Chichester Festival Theatre.
With all these numbers from musicals, would Anton fancy touring with a musical himself? “Maybe some time in the future,” he tells me. “One of the problems with musicals is they tend to stay at a theatre for a week, and with my twins as young as they are I just don’t want to be continually away from them. Doing the shows like I do, for the most part I can get back to south Bucks and be with my wife and the twins at night.”
Speaking of venues, is there one that Anton would love to take one of his and Erin’s shows to? There can only be one, he says. “The London Palladium! I so loved working with Sir Bruce Forsyth on Strictly and it was a place he made his own.”
Dance those Magic Musicals is on Saturday, 23rd February, at Guildford’s G Live.