When I heard the title ‘Tap Factory’ I automatically thought of old fashioned tap dancers, that would probably bore me to tears within half an hour. My 11-year-old daughter who’s a dancer asked if she could come, so I took her along to get a child’s perspective.
The show started somewhat strangely, with Jorffy Mayomba sweeping down the side of the stalls whilst chatting away to the audience. Although humorous it seemed a pointless way to set the scene. I personally think it would have been greatly improved by starting it from the drum scene hence creating a huge immediate impact.
Anyway, tap dancing has clearly come a long way since the days of top hats and canes. This show is a combination of disciplines including tap dancing, hip hop, acrobatics and street dance all married together in the one show. Choreographer and Artistic Director Vincent Pausanias should be complimented by putting together an incredibly skilled show.
I guess for some, two hours of tap and banging could actually be rather monotonous, but this show was anything but. It was fast and energetic with each artist exceptional in their own discipline. How these guys kept their passion, power and speed together for that length of time was jaw dropping.
There might not be much of a story line, but there didn’t need to be as there was nothing that these guys couldn’t turn into rhythm and music, from cans to ladders, sand and even water thrown onto their barrels which gave an amazing effect. The clever lighting added an extra dimension.
Maciej Labutin and Andrea Catozzi will take your breath away with their stunning aerial and floor acrobats, not to mention their exceptional perfectly sculpted bodies. Yes ladies, a few tops might come off during the show – not that you’ll be complaining! Jorffy Mayomba brings comedy value to the show as well as Jérémie Champagne who holds the show together and actually reminds me of Luigi from Mario Bros, with his cheeky smile and dungarees.
I guess if I was asked to describe the show in a sentence I would ask you to close your eyes and think of Stomp: The Musical, The Dreamboys, Mario Bros, circus acts, hip hop dancing, urban dancing, acrobatics and a little comedy and voilà you have the Tap Factory.
This show has certainly brought tap dancing into the 21st-century, attracting all ages. My 11 year old daughter loved every moment tapping herself out the theatre all the way home.
These incredibly skilled artists are ones to watch out for; you can catch them as they continue their UK tour.