facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11

Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 22 April 2008

It’s all over the telly, people are signing up for lessons in spades, some even do it on ice; dancing hasn’t been this in vogue since the hey day of Come Dancing. So it’s great timing for the British premiere of Richard Alfieri’s recent play Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks. Dance judge and choreographer Craig Revel Horwood was watching his protégés Claire Bloom and Billy Zane in the first night audience at the Haymarket last night, as was Caroline Bishop…

Richard Alfieri’s play brings together two unlikely friends for a light-hearted and sentimental tale of love, loss and friendship. Lily is a senior citizen who has retired to a condo in Florida and lives a solitary life with few pals to speak of. When she hires a dance instructor to teach her some moves she gets more than she bargained for in the shape of flamboyant Michael, whose tell-it-like-it-is attitude offends her pensioner’s sensibilities.

This is the nub of the story really, and to go into too much detail would be to spoil the gentle plot, which is gradually teased out over the seven scenes, each similar in structure and each detailing one of Lily’s dance lessons. However, the lessons simply provide an enclosure within which Alfieri asks the audience to get to know these two individuals and their histories, and understand why they come to be a comfort to each other.

Billy Zane, in his first West End stage outing, plays up the comedy as Michael – clad in an array of extravagant outfits – and has several great one-liners. He commands the stage in this two-hander, while Claire Bloom as Lily displays her character’s stubbornness and vulnerability as befits a lady of her years.

The dances, which range from tango and Viennese waltz to cha-cha and contemporary (for which read twisting to The Beach Boys’ Surfing USA), are choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing judge Revel Horwood. Though the dancing is used more as a conclusion to each scene rather than an integral part of the story, it brings a touch of fun and lightness of heart to the play. No doubt the duo wouldn’t pass muster on the Saturday night dance-off, but they’re not trying to, rather the dancing just gives each character an excuse to forget their loneliness for a moment.

There’s nothing too taxing or profound about Alfieri’s play, but it never claims to be anything it’s not. It’s a gentle comedy that makes a pleasant night at the theatre, and the chance to see the charismatic Billy Zane on stage in the West End for the first time.



Sign up

Related articles

Due to the current pandemic various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows. Please bear with us as we try to keep this page as up to date as possible. If you find a mistake, please let us know by emailing enquiries@soltukt.co.uk. If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.