Arlene! The Glitz. The Glamour. The Gossip.

Introduced by Jacquie Storey – who once successfully auditioned for the group that later became Hot Gossip (and turned them down) – we first see a short video from The Kenny Everett Video Show which first introduced the world to Arlene Phillips’ Hot Gossip dancers.

A rare chance to hear of this lifetime of dance in the presence of the lady herself.

Then on comes the lady herself; looking youthful in fitted black top and midi pleated red sparkly skirt and heels. She is now 74 but looks decades younger. ‘Dance’ is her secret to the opening question on her youthful looks before adding ‘...and sex’. It was, she gratefully acknowledges, selling sexy dancers with minimum dress and provocative poses to a huge TV audiences that gave her her break after all. Hot Gossip were signed up simply on the strength of submitting a single photo of the dancers. When critic Mary Whitehouse objected to their sexyness, they were propelled to overnight success. Arlene reveals her introduction to dance when she was forced to wear emerald Pointe shoes from a half-price sale while the other youngsters had regulation black.

The show is a well-rehearsed career highlights chronicle brilliantly kept in order by Storey and frequently illustrated by videos from the days. Her choreography on film shows us the Dr Pepper ads, music videos like I’m Still Standing for Elton John and clips from stage and screen for We Will Rock You, Annie, Starlight Express, Saturday Night Fever and, surprisingly, Lord Of the Dance for Michael Flatley. She can not avoid mentioning Strictly Come Dancing and how she landed the judging roll and the mystery surrounding her departure. Phillips and Storey sit together on the elevated stage like a TV chat show, Phillips prompted by Storey and Storey prompted by her tablet. The conclusion sees both get up to dance a few steps before the appreciating audience. A huge success and with just five shows in the run, a rare chance to hear of this lifetime of dance in the presence of the lady herself. 

Reviews by John Murray

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★★★★
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Performances

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The Blurb

Freddie Mercury. Whitney Houston. Elton John. Starlight Express. We Will Rock You. Annie. Hot Gossip... The list goes on and on. Arlene Phillips has been an inimitable choreographer and director for over four decades. Since creating the provocative dance group Hot Gossip in the 1970s, Arlene has been a household name. Whether you know Arlene from the many dance extravaganzas or as the toughest judge on Strictly Come Dancing, prepare to be surprised and entertained as Arlene gossips with Jacquie Storey about a lifetime in dance.

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