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  1. Given that we are literally days away form the second of three dance exams it goes without saying Megan LOVES Strictly Come Dancing. It's the highlight of the run up to Christmas, we curl up on the sofa with snacks and blanket snuggling away those long, grey Winter nights. Brendan, Gorka and AJ are amongst her favourite males dancers. But of course being as she's ballet obsessed Darcey Bussell is her most favourite. Brendan Cole was sadly eliminated in week 4 of series fifteen after being paired with Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins. But Brendan Cole has got more than enough to occupy his mind – and body. His brand new show All Night Long is heading out on a national tour hitting Lighthouse Poole on the 10th February. Brendan (and Megan) couldn’t be more excited!

    Joined by his sensational cast of guest dancers, a captivating leading lady and a talented 14-piece band and singers to whip up an extravagant mix of Latin fever and ballroom magic. From tantalising tango to fiery paso doble, elegant foxtrot to breathtaking waltz, with a few surprises in store, this is no ordinary dance show. Live music, stunning special effects and Brendan’s own dazzling choreography and charm makes this an unforgettable night.Brendan Cole - PressWhat did Brendan have to say about his show All Night Long? :

    Had your mum seen something in you that suggested learning to dance might be a good idea?

    No but she loved music and dancing and she wanted her children to learn to dance. She wanted us to do lots of things. I did loads of sport too.

    Your latest show, All Night Long, opens in January. What are you most looking forward to about the tour?

    This is very much my show, not something that somebody else has put together for me. The creative process is amazing, trying to put your vision onto the stage. It’s down to you to make that happen.. There are 21 of us on stage and we’re very much a family - really good friends. We have a ball - both on and off the stage. Then to have that interaction with your audience is such a feeling. On Strictly we have the live studio audience but you’re a very small part of a very big show. With your own show people have come along to see you and what you’ve created. When you tell a story that’s an emotional thing, obviously you’re just dancing but people pick up on that emotion and the meaning’s changed because they’re watching it and interpreting it as if it were in their own life. You know you’ve done a really good thing when an audience is moved by a dance. If something is well-received - when people are on their feet cheering you - that’s a phenomenal, very powerful feeling and you can’t really recreate that in any other industry.

    All Night Long is a great Lionel Richie number – does it feature in the show?

    It certainly does. We open with that number. I love Lionel Richie. You’ve probably seen Monsieur Richie’s numbers hundreds of times on Strictly. It’s got a great vibe. We’ve got a live band onstage, 13 musicians all doing their thing, so it’s not just a dance show. The quality and class of the musicians playing a full-on Lionel Richie number, it’s phenomenal. You’d want to go to watch the band alone.

    There are many different types of music in the show to reflect the different dance styles. Do you have a favourite?

    The waltz is definitely my favourite because of the power of the music. We tell the story of an affair and it’s really moving. But with a show like this, we have to have it all. Strictly fans have an expectation because Strictly has every genre of music, and my show has to reflect that. One minute doing this beautiful waltz, the next minute an Argentine Tango –and finish with a massive jive. I want Strictly fans to walk out saying: “Bloody hell! That was the best night. I can’t believe we saw as much as we did!” It’s really important to me for every person to have a really special and exciting night. One of my favourite things to do is, just after the show has finished, to peek out from behind the staging and get a little reaction as to what people are saying!

    All Night Long will be at Lighthouse, Poole on 10th February and touring the rest of the UK from January until the end of March. 

  2. I think this is the third or fourth year we (Daddy Moo and I) have been to see the Circus of Horrors and although the general theme is the same it still never ceases to amaze me. It's become our yearly January beat the post Christmas blues treat. You might know of the Circus of Horrors as they became the only circus ever to reach the finals of Britain’s Got Talent and were the first circus to perform in London's West End for over 100 years.circus of horrors - clowns

    After first taking to the road over 22 years ago the phenomenon that is The Circus of Horrors returned to Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts with its latest incarnation, Voodoo. There had been a few changes this year including Dr Haze singing solo, Maria Morose added a dimension to the singing aspect which I felt was a bit off this time. The Killer Clowns have been replaced by voodoo dolls and a jungle spirit who can do amazing things with his limbs! I can barely touch my toes let alone wrap my legs round my head. Camp Dracula has had a revamp as Beelzebum providing a bit of light relief between the acts.

    New acts included Carmen and Vittali and they fast became my favourites! If you have caught my #40before40 list  you will know I LOVE World Strongest Man so a strongman act was welcomed by Daddy Moo and I. Vittali is amazing! I think as a mother of 3 I'm pretty inapt at juggling armfuls of bags, lunch boxes, stray jumpers (food shopping as I'm too tight to pay 5p and too disorganised to bring bags) but Vittali lay a plank of wood across the back of his neck with a man laying on top of that with his hands round his neck. On each end of the plank was a swing which a grown man sat on swinging!! WHILST walking around! Impressive! Carmen not only throws knives at Vittali but she shoots arrows at him. My networking group is having an fun archery session next week, I probably won't show up in fishnets and a basque but who knows I might find my niche as a circus act!

    Hannibal Hellmurto world famous sword swallower and his amazing wife Anastasia with Guiness World Record Breaking hair (also something on my #40before40 list break a world record although mine will not be hair based!) returned which makes me super happy as I love these two! 

    The colourful spectacular features an amazing amalgamation of bizarre (swallowing string then pulling it out their stomach) and fantastic circus acts (synchronised ariel dnace and silk) woven into a sensational shock-horror story with a bit of blood and guts, driven by a mainly original soundscape and performed with a forked tongue firmly in each cheek. The tour is now well underway and hits everywhere between now and the end of April 2018.