It promised a high-speed chase through the history of cinema with heaps of dancers and beautiful models, and with the show we got tonight it certainly didn’t disappoint. The opening night of Fusion went from glitz and glamour, to gangsters and shootings, and everything that comes between.
The first half dripped in nostalgia for the golden age of cinema, and gave us some truly spectacular Gatsby-esque moments, helped no doubt by the period costume provided by Baz Luhrman’s costumers Brooks Brothers. The fashion and beauty coordinators Lucy Winship and Lizzie Rowles worked tirelessly to source the best costumes and make sure that all the performers looked fantastic, and it certainly paid off. Beginning with a silent mime sequence, the early part of the show gave us some of the most iconic cinematic moments of the early 20th century. The advent of colour was welcomed by models in block colours and the Wizard of Oz as a backdrop. Highlights included a wonderful Hepburn collaboration in which ballroom dancers glided to Moon River, before seamlessly switching into a Funny Face jazz ensemble and ending with girls decked out in the iconic Tiffany’s black dress and tiara proclaiming that they ‘could have danced all night’.The standout however took us to seminal 1939 Gone With The Wind and Tom Jones and Katherine Donnelly’s whimsical duet was breathtaking.
After a short interval, the show came back with a bang. In contrast to the charming and suave first half, the second half was bold and exhilarating. Taking us on a ride through key directors and huge blockbusters, we were treated to gangster ensembles and suspense numbers thrilling enough to give Hitchcock a run for his money.
Act three was titled The Director’s Chair and with pieces dedicated to Scorsese, Hitchcock and Tarantino it was always going to be something huge. The Hitchcock scenes compiled a wonderfully costumed The Birds and Vertigo, in which the dancers were on dizzying pointe and ended with a brilliantly choreographed street homage to the king of suspense. The opening lines of Goodfellas were put on the screen during Scorsese’s gangster dance to make absolutely sure we knew what we were getting next. With the three gangs of dancers (jazz, tap and street) and fierce moves they were putting down, there was no doubt that this was Scorsese through and through.
As well as the thrillers and gangsters, we were given a softer break with a beautiful rom-com quartet. The visuals of the performance were stunning, but equally incredible was the music. Full of seamless compilations and such a vast range of genres from early swing to pounding bass lines it was an unbelievable feat and the result was jaw-dropping. Tom Biddle has outdone himself.
Everyone in the show and everyone who helped make it happen should be incredibly proud as the end result was truly remarkable. Every scene looked amazing and the head choreographers Daisy Cutler and Tara Cherry deserve huge recognition for their work. There are so many other scenes which deserve mention, but as they say, seeing is believing. Creative director Alfie Allin has created something that is a truly exciting show and a complete joy from start to finish. Be sure not to miss out and get your tickets now!