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Albany Theatre review: Giovanni Pernice,This is Me


This is me, Giovanni Pernice. Albany Theatre, Coventry, March 1.

By Barbara Goulden.

Dancing star Giovanni Pernice was 'Strictly Perfection' when he glided back to Coventry with a stunning new road show that he's entitled This Is Me.

The unexpected thing about Giovanni - who first appeared at the Albany Theatre five years ago - is his sense of humour.

Turns out he can sing too - well, he is Italian - as well as dance and tell jokes about how good it is"to be home in Coventry" among friends and family!

I don't know about family but there were certainly enough devoted fans in the audience - the vast majority of us women.

Sadly no Strictly co-champion Rose Ayling-Ellis on this part of the tour. But for all that no lack of talent among Giovanni's professional dance company who left us breathless with their dramatic sequences in the second half of the show after leaving us hysterical with laughter during the first.

This was after Giovanni confesses he was a huge fan of the late Freddie Mercury and so couldn't resist choreographing a series of moves to accompany a medley of Queen hits ending with that hoover-pushing anthem: "I Want To Break Free."

Of course, to perform this, Giovanni decides to "drag" himself up in leather skirt and high heels while a hapless man from the audience - there really weren't many to chose from - is dragged up on stage to join him.

Personally, I preferred the sultry, sensuous shape of the second half of the programme mixing classical music with Michael Jackson's Man In The Mirror during which Giovanni performed what is really a contemporary ballet with his main partner. It made me understand just how vital it is to build a relationship in dance.

As my friend Vanessa observed - none of these professionals in their sleek and glittering costumes looked like they ate many meat pies! Too true. Their energy left me thinking I really ought to get out more!

But only to shows like this with its simply stunning lighting display which showed the features of the art-deco Albany off to perfection.