I made my way to the Theatre Royal Newcastle on a Sunday evening to see Oti Mabuse tour show I Am Here.
Here for one night only and only 5 weeks after seeing her strictly co stars Alijaz Skoranjec and Janette Manrara, it seems most strictly dancers now have their own show to tour now. I am here is the most personal of the shows I have seen yet.
Star of The Greatest Dancer and two time Strictly Come Dancing champion Oti Mabuse was joined by some of the world’s greatest dancers and the West End’s finest singers and musicians on her first ever UK tour.
Oti Mabuse: I Am Here (a direct translation of Oti’s name in the language Setswana, spoken in South Africa) is a celebration of the influences and inspirations that took her on a journey from growing up in South Africa to following her dreams to Germany and to the UK, finding love, choreographing her first show to life in Africa.
The first half takes us through her journey from Strictly come dancing to Germany and finding love with her Romanian husband and dance partner. We also learned of her love for musicals and the opportunity to choreograph her first; The Cher Show (review here) to all the musicals she has a love for in a nice medley performed for us.
A lovely mix of high energy and stripped back performance made it enjoyable. A lovely soundtrack also took us through modern songs and older classics led by two great singers in Natalia Brown and Nic Vani throughout.
The second half especially showing that behind the energy of this show was a deeply personal story reflected in videography, dance and song that reminded us of the troubles that Africans once faced, along with personal photos. Video tributes to those that inspired Oti also accompanied this.
The show was full of music, Jives, Sambas and plenty of South African traditional dance and song. Oti combined live talk with video and this helped transition between numbers giving her and the other dancers a chance for outfit changes and the moment to catch a breath.
As I mentioned at the beginning, most Strictly stars have a tour now, but this was the one that has most showed a story of personal emotion to me. Early on you could see that this show was going to have the audience clapping and cheering and that’s the way it ended too! I’d definitely recommend this show for a fun night out.