Strictly stars Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag set for dates across Sussex

Ballroom stars Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag are delighted to be hitting the stage for the first time on tour in two years.

Anton and Erin
Anton and Erin

Along with the rest of the world of live entertainment, Anton and Erin had to postpone their 2021 tour due to coronavirus restrictions.

Now they are back with Showtime, a glittering celebration that pays tribute to some of the world’s greatest icons of entertainment.

Anton and Erin are promising world-class dance inspired by an array of classic performers including Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Liza Minelli, Elton John and many more, backed by a 23-piece orchestra.

Dates coming up include Saturday, February 12, 2.30pm and 7.30pm at Guildford’s G Live; Tuesday, February 15, 7.30pm at Brighton Dome; Friday, February 25, 7.30pm at Eastbourne’s Congress Theatre; and Sunday, February 27, 5pm at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre.

Anton said: “It is lovely. It is a joy to be able to get back on the stage and wonderful to be in a studio with everybody again and it is going to be an amazing show. Everybody is really excited. We were going to do this last year. We always tour this time of the year. The year before last we were just coming to the end of the tour and we had to miss the last week (when the first lockdown descended). It was horrendous and now for us this is the first time we’ve been able to get back on stage in two years.”

Erin added:” I found it all very difficult. When the first lockdown was introduced, you thought it was going to be short term and you are thinking it will be OK in a while but it went on and on.

“And the fact is that everything we do needs an audience and that was taken away from us and then taken away from us again and then again and then we got back to it and then it was taken away.

“My mother usually comes over from New Zealand every January to March when we are touring and I had to send her home early two years ago and I have not seen her since and there is just no end to it in New Zealand.”

Thank goodness though for all the modern means of communication. As Anton says: “It would have been so different 30 years ago, even 20 years ago. It has certainly been really hard but actually for me personally it has been the worst of times and the best of times, as somebody once wrote. My children were literally just turning three when the first lockdown hit us and so we didn’t have to home-school and we just had the most wonderful time together, Hannah, myself and the children. So from a personal perspective it was, as I say the best of times.

“But professionally it was the worst of times. We literally weren’t able to work at all. I did a few bits of TV and I started doing bits and pieces online but really I just want that live interaction.”

And as Erin says: “I’m still not quite sure that we’re out of it. But we travel the country. We bring the show to people so that they don’t have to travel to us and we know that the theatres are doing everything they can to make things safe and it really is going to be a lovely show, a wonderful show. People will always come away feeling happy.”

For the performers there is a greater appreciation, Erin says: “What has changed is that I am a couple of years older and maybe taking all that time off didn’t help but I do really appreciate what I do. I have always enjoyed it but maybe you are just more aware of it now. And we’ve got a great big orchestra as well and you think just how much they have suffered as well.

Anton adds: “I think it does make you realise how blessed we have been to be able to do this thing that we do for a living. It is what I love doing. I’ve never taken it for granted but I think maybe now we are more aware that it can just be taken away from you for different reasons.

“We always thought that it would end when we just couldn’t do it anymore or when people just didn’t want to see it anymore but now you realise there are other things can happen and you realise this is all just pretty fragile stuff and I think that makes you enjoy it more. It is cherished time and you realise how much it matters to you when you get in front of an audience for the first time again and you realise just how much it matters to the audience as well.”