Along with Anton Du Beke, Brendan Cole is the only professional dancer to have appeared in every series of the BBC’s ratings juggernaut Strictly Come Dancing.
And now he’s back with his fourth solo tour – All Night Long.
Describing the process behind putting the show together, Brendan explains: ‘It is very much a team effort between myself and my cast. I will have certain ides as to how I want the show to form, but it’s important for me to have the cast involved.
‘I love the creativity that comes from that and it makes for a better show. Song choices are difficult, especially now as this will be my fourth production. I need to make sure there is something for everyone – old, new and in-between.
‘There has to be excitement, beauty, emotion, character – so much goes into these decisions.
‘My wife, Zoe, myself and my musical director spend many days throwing around ideas and eventually we have ourselves a show list.’
With each new live show featuring a different team of dancers, how does Brendan go about selecting them and, in particular, his leading lady?
‘This, like everything, is a process. It’s so important to get the right team. We are 22 artists – dancers and musicians – all on stage and it’s vital to get the right chemistry between us all.
‘When it comes to leading ladies, you kind of just know if it’s right or not! All of my girls could have been my leading lady and everyone’s job on stage is crucial to the success of the show.
‘For All Night Long, Faye Huddleston has been tasked with dancing with me throughout the show and I am so excited to be working with her.
‘Personally, I think we look great together,’ he laughs.
So what can we expect to see this time around?
‘I want every single person that comes to my show to have the most exceptional night of entertainment. I like to think that we create a show that has something for everyone. We have amazing talent on stage – all of the Strictly dance styles that people love, big band live music throughout, choreography full of excitement, intimacy, emotion and skill. There is a lot of laughter and chat throughout the show as well so, essentially, we just have a ball.’
While Brendan admits to enjoying life on the road, he admits that leaving his young family – daughter Aurélia is four – is difficult.
‘It is definitely hard, but I love every second of it. To have what you have created appreciated in the way that it has been, makes it the best job in the world. I love touring more than anything else that I do and I think that it shows when I’m on stage.
‘Obviously when it comes to family it is hard. Zoe and our daughter Aurélia don’t often come with me as touring isn’t really conducive to normal family living. As a team we create the tour and my wife Zoe is at the heart of a lot of the decisions I make as they affect our lives so dramatically.’
His live shows have also included a Q&A session at the end, but Brendan is shaking that up a little this time out.
‘We are going to try to interject questions throughout the show. It’s a work in progress but it could be fun this way. I love the questions that I have to swerve. It makes for a very interesting show and I have certainly been asked plenty of them.
‘Keep ‘em coming!’
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
Sunday, April 2