If you’re expecting a ‘Strictly” show then think again, if however you’re looking for a ‘Strictly’ brilliant night out, then HERE COME THE BOYS is definitely the place to be. We’ve had to wait exactly 12 months for the show to finally get to St David’s Hall in Cardiff, thanks to pandemic postponements, but boy was it well worth it.

The dance superstars are GRAZIANO DI PRIMA, NADIYA BYCHKOVA, NIKITA KUZMIN, PASHA KOVALEV who are joined by Strictly finalist KARIM ZEROUAL, who acts as compere/dancer/butt of a few well placed gags too.

The poster says the show is a “BIG, SPANGLED, ENERGETIC, NON-STOP DANCE SPECTACULAR” and I can tell you it is all of that and so much more. What the poster doesn’t mention is the audience, who are as much a part of this experience as the incredible performers on stage.

Yes, it is mostly women who packed out St David’s Hall but there were a few of us guys too. The hundreds of fans, many of them a little frenzied for most of the night, were whipped into a hyper state of excitement by the on-stage antics of the Strictly stars, which were saucy and flirtatious at times but also incredibly funny, particularly the bits in between the set routines.

This is the same show which played a sell out run at the London Palladium and it’s clear that no expense has been spared in the design and production. The set is lavish, the use of the video screen is an integral part of the performance, and as for the music, well that is next level. Hold onto your chest because you’re going to feel it go right through you, it’s awesome.

The show is directed and choreographed by GARETH WALKER and has a pretty straight-forward plot. It’s basically a dance battle on stage, which gives each of the stars a chance to show off what they do best, to some absolutely belting songs (which you’re guaranteed to know and singalong with). The banter is funny, but the battle dances are brilliantly staged, and actually quite moving at times.

We had everything on the huge St David’s Hall stage, from Salsa to Rumba and all routines in between. As you can imagine there was much cheering, and a fair volume of squealing from the excitable crowd as they let it be known which dancer is their favourite. A little hint here, the more the tops came off the wilder the crowd got – and believe me, they were incredibly wild at times.

As if you really needed proof, here’s what last nights audience thought of the show……

There couldn’t be a better host of the show than Karim. He has the entire crowd captivated while whipping us into an even more crazed state before easing into another routine. Karim also has his turn on the dance floor with a brilliantly choreographed routine, which is as frantic as they come, but superbly performed, which you’d of course expect from a Strictly finalist.

This is a good point to mention NADIYA, who co-hosts and adds her professional opinion to the dancers performances. She shines as a co-host, but when she takes to the floor herself, she is incredible, I mean 10 out of 10 next level dancing.

There’s a great element of familiarity in Here Come The Boys. The music is definitely familiar with the hits of Queen, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and more. The dancers are very much household names, thanks to their many years on Strictly. Then there’s Karim who not only wowed us on the dance show but is a regular CBBC face too. But credit should also be given to the entire company who collectively turn out some incredibly staged routines.

As with all shows like this there are a few who lead the way, especially when there’s a competition element. It’s unfair to mention individuals but Graziano, known as the ‘Italian Stallion‘ performed some outstanding lifts and holds which really stole the show at times. He was also able to perform a little piece of magic – he unbuttoned his shirt and in unison the audience went wild. Seriously, the screams and cheers from the ladies in the audience was ear busting, just ask me with my busted eardrums (not that I’d hear you).

At one point Graziano had a little flirt with the crowd, much to their delight. With a wink, a wiggle of his ass and into the rest of the routines, the ladies were well and truly putty in the boys hands. Think a toned down Magic Mike and you’ll get the idea.

This is 90 minutes of non-stop dancing fun, and you can really see how much they all enjoy doing what they do. The dedication and passion they put into each of the routines is commendable and makes for a great night, in the company of some of the most professional dancers you’ll see on any stage.

But I need to say again, it is great fun – when they break loose from the routines and banter between each other and interact with the audience, it really brings the show to life.

At the end, we got the inevitable call to ‘get on our feet’, which we didn’t need to be honest, we were already there. After all that, we were given a special moment in the show, a choreographed routine in honour and support of those in the Ukraine. It was a lovely way to end what had been a very special, fun and uplifting night – even for us boys in the audience.

HERE COME THE BOYS is on tour right now, you can get all the dates on their site HERE. If you don’t mind the short journey across the water, the tour gets to the Forum in Bath on the 14th and the Symphony Hall in Birmingham on the 23rd July.