As a long time Strictly fan and regular at the live shows I was thrilled to be able to attend The Ballroom Boys at Whitley Bay Playhouse. when were gifted press tickets to review the show.

The combination of Ian Waite and Vincent Simone – Ian with the Hollywood glamour, looks and charm, Vincent with his Italian passion and lothario ways – was the perfect blend and a real crowd pleaser.

The duo have great chemistry with a not so subtle nod to Morecambe and Wise especially when they performed to ‘Bring me sunshine’.

The whole show was a lovely mix of dances from salsa to rumba. The boys chose well with their wonderful dance partners Ksenia Zsikhotska and Crystal Main. I have had the pleasure to watch Crystal before and it was lovely to see her expertise being showcased on this occasion.

James Lomas of Billy Elliot fame and the youngest winner of the Olivier award to date at the tender age of thirteen provided live vocals which had the crowd mesmerised. From swing to pop to 70s disco he didn’t miss a note.

From the outset Ian and Vincent had the crowd laughing and cheering with their risqué repertoire. Crowd participation was encouraged and when they got four volunteers on stage little did they know what was in store for them…… dressing up as iconic stars and strutting their stuff on the stage for the votes of the audience. Extra kudos to the young man who had come to the show with his mum and was an unwilling volunteer. Despite his initial reluctance he won the hearts of the audience with his enthusiastic Tina Turner impersonation and emerged triumphant.

From early on my cheeks were hurting from smiling and laughing, my hands hurt from clapping but when Ian and Vincent recreated the Sugar Plum Fairy I couldn’t contain myself. Towering Ian in his tutu and tiny Vincent with his artificially enhanced crotch and flamboyant moves had even the ushers in stitches. What a lovely touch to put red roses under the front seats.

Throughout we had been teased with the chance of seeing Simone’s world famous Argentine tango, it most certainly did not disappoint.

All in all a fantastic evening. Would I recommend it? Absolutely! Would I go again tomorrow? Without a doubt! In the words of Len Goodman; I’d pickle my walnuts if you didn’t enjoy it.

Thanks for reading,


This was a guest post by Mandy Charlton on behalf of

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