hiya bucks exclusive interview with Buckinghamshire’s professional dancer Brendan Cole
by Matt Batsman
Former Strictly Come Dancing star and local man Brendan Cole takes some time out of a jam-packed rehearsal schedule to talk Bucks, his brand-new dance show and a pantomime performance.
Despite it being 4.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon when I catch Brendan on the phone, it’s quickly apparent that this is a man with boundless energy and enthusiasm. He’s vibrant and excited as he talks to me from Swansea, just one of the 22 dates in the run of his show, All Night Long. With Brendan and his 21-person crew set to come to Aylesbury Waterside on November 17th, I ask what someone going can expect to see.
“It’s a big old show, bigger than people are generally expecting,” he reflects, “with such a big cast, it’s a pretty dynamic night…the live music and, with all the musicians on stage, it’s quite a spectacle.” So far, it sounds like a good show to me. But Brendan isn’t done proving to me why this isn’t any ordinary dance show.
“The dance shows out there are pretty one-dimensional…[but] we cover it all, all the stuff people know from Strictly whether it be a waltz or an argentine tango or a jive, every element is covered. Hopefully it’s a diverse night and the music reflects that too, different genres of music from old to new because Strictly was such a diverse audience. It caters to all!” I’m intrigued by this effort to be all inclusive, so I ask about audience: who does the show appeal to largely?
“It’s a really interesting mix,” he muses, “you expect it to be a slightly older generation because it’s a ballroom dancing show, but we have kids in there, right up through the ages which is great because, whilst it’s a challenge…to please everybody, we’ve got a recipe that works. It’s a bloody cracking night out.” I tell him that should be the strapline for the show and he laughs.
I quickly ask him about his role in the December run of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves pantomime at the Wycombe Swan. I ask him if he’s worried about doing all that extra work on top of his own show, and I’m met with a simple answer.
It’s only Brendan’s second ever performance in a panto but, after loving the first one, he’s ready to get back into the hard work and do something a bit different to his normal routine. His infectious energy fills me with great envy; this is a super-talented individual who absolutely loves his work.
There’s just enough time to ask Brendan about leaving New Zealand and being a full-time Bucks resident. I ask him what he likes the most about living here and, after a brief pause to consider it, he tells me: “The people.” It’s a lovely sentiment from a truly interesting man.
If you’re looking for a “bloody cracking night out”, Brendan Cole’s All Night Long is the show to see at Aylesbury Waterside on Saturday November 17th or you can catch Brendan in Snow White at the Wycombe Swan from December 7th to December 30th.