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EDINBURGH 2016 - BWW Review: THE TAP PACK, Assembly George Square Theatre, 11 August

Whether you grew up on Fred Astaire, have seen a street busker hot shoe shuffle, or became obsessed with a children's film about a dancing penguin, at some point we have all been impressed by the talent of a tap dancer. The Tap Pack bring this timeless dance skill straight up to date, while still celebrating icons from the past.

Starting with an interactive warm-up act by the internationally acclaimed Jesse Rasmussen, the audience are revved up and ready to be entertained. The dingy bar after-hours set is a practical design for a fringe show of this scale, but innovative and packed with character. This feeling that you could be at a Vegas hotel show carries like a silver thread running the whole way through.

Using the Rat Pack sound as their musical genre does not leave them constrained: classics from the Great American Songbook are mixed and mashed with hits from today. A tip of the hat to Sinatra runs naturally into raising a glass to Bieber.

A live band, which has been included in other outings of this production, would have added more magic. But with so much talent, live tap and vocals on stage, it works well just with playback tracks.

Each of the stars on stage shine brighter than a polished tap shoe, and watching people love every second of what they are doing is truly infectious. They are masculine and mature, slick and seductive.

When the dancing takes a break, new elements are introduced. Magic, juggling and comedy may not be performed to as high a standard as their flawless footwork, but the constant variation keeps the show fresh. And it always returns to the fundamentals of smooth vocals and lightening feet.

With the makings of something huge, this show would inspire anyone to take up dancing. Your heart will glide out of the door beating to the rhyme of their taping toes.

Five fellas with fly footwork, The Tap Pack is a little slice of Vegas glamour and golden era MGM. Packaged with pizzazz for this generation, and all those that came before.

The Tap Pack runs at Assembly George Square Theatre until 29 August

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From This Author Adam Robinson

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