Review: Vamos Cuba! at the Birmingham Hippodrome

Well, the clocks have gone back and don’t we know it, marking the start of the season’s dark journeys in search of a great night out. But the good news is those clever folk at Birmingham Hippodrome are currently hosting the Caribbean sensation Vamos Cuba! about a group of travellers trying to leave their country by air which is nobly dedicated to the task of cheering us all up.

Artistic Director and Hippodrome CEO Fiona Allen went all the way to that tropical island to find them and nurture their visit to Britain with this Sadler’s Wells Production, and the whole vibrant evening proves it was air miles and effort well-spent.

Vamos Cuba!

Vamos Cuba!

Vamos Cuba! is a spectacular all-singing, all-dancing glimpse into the throbbing life of this famous Caribbean hot-spot. Its huge cast of highly accomplished and delightfully individual performers is backed by ace on-stage musicians with some truly great vocals thrown in. The energetic result is a show which makes the most of every on-stage moment.

The plot couldn’t be simpler – a group of high-spirited Cubans are trying to leave the country by air, so we see arrivals heading for departure, hear their stories, and of course, see them dance, from the grandest diva down to the humblest cleaner.

As the travellers wait for their delayed flights, there are sexy encounters and poignant goodbyes that grow to spectacular set pieces of exuberant movement, including a deeply nostalgic look back at the cabaret styles of Havana’s past. The scene where an entire plane-load experiences turbulence is a masterpiece of mime. At the end they return to a newly-energised Cuba filled with a new optimism.

This high-octane, lavishly costumed show is bright, camp, and funny as all get-out, its super-energised dancers making sure every upbeat minute counts. Sundrenched, sexy and lovely to look at, from first to last it’s a spectacular romp of colour, song and dance.

With prices starting at £12 what’s not to like? Stay cosy, at least for a few hours, in its tropical warmth and let winter do its worst.

Vamos Cuba! runs until Saturday (November 5). For tickets phone the box office on 0844 338 5000 or visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com.

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