Tap Dogs – the Waltons it was not..

Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs – for the full review go to London Theatre Direct

This is an interesting combination of tap, theatre, dance and rock concert – that was the promise on the flier. It certainly had me intrigued. Could this match up to the huge whole-cast numbers I’ve experience watching traditional shows like 42nd Street?

Well, going to see Tap Dogs was like watching a family coming together to have fun messing about and teasing each other, but the Waltons it was not. I was surprised at the amount of humour throughout the show and very happy to see it wasn’t clumsy slapstick (though I am up for a bit of that) but far more subtle in places. It was also very gritty and almost raunchy in places.

I was really impressed by the cast who were individually incredibly skilled and, as an ensemble, superb. The timing was amazing and I particularly loved the Tap Dogs version of whole-cast numbers, as they quickly became synchronised tap extravaganzas – brilliant.

The characters that emerged were endearing and funny and I found myself championing each of them at different times.

The industrial-style set was very fitting I thought, and helped to add a bit of variety to the show as dances were performed upside-down, against interesting back lights, through a canopy of sparks and in puddles of water. Marvellous.

The show is around 80 minutes long, which is enough I think, based on the hyperactivity, extreme noise levels, and vibrations that shook the seats. The brilliant drummers/percussionists added to the drama and were, as themselves, worthy of a show, I thought – really clever performances going on in their little raised booths.

By the end of the show, people were laughing out loud (setting others off in the audience) and, after much applause and cheers, the first night performance was given a standing ovation. Perhaps we got them fresh, but honestly, based on the enthusiasm and the way they all looked like they were enjoying it so much, my bet is that they’re still like that at the end of the run.

Go see it.

Tap Dogs is on at the Peacock Theatre, Holborn

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