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Wayne Sleep's Spalding show was a glamour-filled trip down memory lane

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Spalding Guardian reporter Kat Wakefield reviews An Audience with Wayne Sleep at the South Holland Centre.

If you’re after an evening filled with glitz and glam, spending it with Wayne Sleep is certainly never boring.

Taking to the stage at Spalding’s South Holland Centre, the 5ft 2 dance superstar commanded the audience from the word go.

An Audience with Wayne Sleep at Spalding's South Holland Centre (56548029)
An Audience with Wayne Sleep at Spalding's South Holland Centre (56548029)

Wayne took us on a glamour-filled trip down memory lane, from his humble beginnings and his first visit to The Royal Ballet School’s White Lodge, to his friendship with Rudolph Nureyev, Bonnie Langford and Princess Diana.

Wayne told the audience fairly early on that this was his first show of this kind and, for me, it felt as though we were sat in the pub with him.

This intimate insight into his life was interspersed with footage from Wayne’s private archive.

We were able to see clips from an interview with his late mother and aunt discussing his career, his Guinness World Record beating fastest entrechat douze and performing on the Morecambe and Wise show.

As with any stage show worth its salt, we were treated to two “sets” of conversation but before the interval Wayne treated us to a tap performance to Barnacle Bill the Sailor.

Taking us through the decades, there was something for everyone to remember.

My date for the evening was a 20 year old friend of mine - and it did dawn on me that she might not be as well acquainted with Wayne’s work as her older friend.

However, she remembered plenty of the evergreen star’s later appearances including I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Celebrity Masterchef and the Real Marigold Hotel.

Of course, many of the people in the room were interested in Wayne’s royal connections.

He famously danced with Princess Diana in a surprise performance at the Royal Opera House in 1985.

Wayne talked all about their close friendship and how the audience collectively gasped when they realised it was her on that stage that night.

To end, we were treated to a Q&A session where Wayne divulged his favourite dance, venue and his thoughts on the ballet dancers of today (the Royal Ballet’s Principal Natalia Osipova is a favourite).

And I think it’s fair to say that we were all captivated by his stories and we will keep an eye out for what’s to come next in Wayne’s world.

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