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Aliona Vilani joins Brendan Cole for Licence To Thrill Tour

Theatre news

BRENDAN Cole will be joined by fellow Strictly Come Dancing professional Aliona Vilani for his Licence To Thrill tour, which opens on January 16, 2014 at Eastbourne Congress Theatre.

Aliona will be stepping into the leading lady shoes after French Dancing with the Stars champion, Fauve Hautot, pulled out having injured the cruciate ligaments in her knee.

Speaking about the change, Brendan Cole said:

“It is such a shame to not have Fauve returning to join me for the tour, she is a phenomenal dancer and will very much be missed on the tour, however I am really excited to have Aliona stepping into her shoes. Having worked with her on Strictly since 2009 I know what an incredible dancer she is and I can’t wait to see what she brings to the show.”

Aliona joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2009 and was runner-up in 2010 before going on to take the Glitterball Trophy in 2011 with McFly’s Harry Judd.

Brendan and his Strictly Come Dancing partner Sophie Ellis-Bextor have been thrilling BBC One audiences with their breathtaking routines and stunning choreography and now Brendan is bringing that magic to theatres around the country.

Brendan and his cast of 14 musicians and six world class dancers dazzle audiences with scintillating music and choreography in this two hour dance and big band extravaganza.

The Waltzes and Foxtrots will take audiences on an emotional journey of beauty and sophistication while the fast paced Quicksteps, Tangos and American Smooths will simply take their breath away. And if that’s not enough, there’s the excitement of the Latin dances such as the Cha Cha, Samba, Salsa and Jive…

The band is lead by Musical Director Barry Robinson and includes vocalists Ian Mackenzie and Julie Maguire and some of Britain’s best musicians. On stage throughout the show they will perform songs from across the decades from Nat King Cole to Gladys Knight to Michael Bublé.

“There is a small nod to James Bond with the music”, Brendan explains. “One of the big songs is Gladys Knight’s Licence to Kill (hence the Licence to Thrill title) and there is a dance-off between the males in Live and Let Die.”

Brendan’s stellar dance cast includes Australian dancer Melanie Hooper, who first joined Brendan for the final run of his Live and Unjudged tour, Germany’s Patrick Helm, who has been assisting the artistic director on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing as well as performing in a number of the professional dances, and home grown dancer Crystal Main. Completing the dance line-up is Brendan’s brother Scott who always brings something unique to the evening.

Brendan’s final word on the show: “My dance cast is truly international with a collective CV from competition, theatre, stage and television! I’m very lucky to have a cast that have been in Dancing With The Stars around the world as well as stars from the Broadway hit Burn the Floor and, of course, Strictly Come Dancing. With this wealth of talent we will ensure audiences have the best seat in the house, every night, all night and I can’t wait to see the show back out in theatres again.”

For tour venues and dates and to buy tickets visit brendancole.com/brendan_cole_licence_to_thrill/

You might be interested to know that I saw Licence To Thrill last year at Basingstoke and it certainly lived up to its hype. So if you’re a fan of Strictly and of Brendan in particular, it’s not to be missed.