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Tap factory tour comes to Tunbridge Wells

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As the Tap Factory tour comes to the Assembly Hall in Tunbridge Wells, Kent-born cast member Michael Newman answers your questions…

Q: In your own words how would you describe the flavour of the show? What can audiences expect? Jess, Sevenoaks

A: It’s a very high energy performance. There’s no spoken word at all – except one or two words in an African regional dialect that we don’t expect anyone in the audience to understand! It’s all about dance, rhythm and sound. The percussion in the show uses everything from dustbins to ladders. There’s no need for language, which is highlighted by the international cast – between us we’re from France, Switzerland, Poland, UK and Ivory Coast. It’s purely sensory and pure escapism. This makes it appealing for all ages.

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Q: Is there any competitiveness between you as performers? Please don’t say ‘no’ – there’s even a competitive edge to my yoga class! Sophie, Horsmonden

A: We get any competitiveness out of our system backstage by messing around and playing blokey games. It’s all very friendly and we all get on well. Of course it’s still early days on the tour, so let’s see! I’m joking of course…

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Q: Have you ever had any interesting reactions from female fans? Sue, Tonbridge

A: We were in Cannes, France, in Feb and went out for a meal after the show. We attracted quite a lot of attention from a table of females upstairs who insisted on giving us a standing ovation every time one of us went up to use the Gents.

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Q: How do you all keep in shape? Lizzie, Staplehurst

A: There’s a total of nine male performers in the show and it’s different for all of us. Mainly we’re dancers and the dancers all have tap boards at home. Other cast members go to the gym – Andrea and Maciej are gymnasts and that requires a great deal of strength as well as aerobic fitness.  In fact Maciej, who is an aerial straps specialist, was once a National Olympic Team Gymnast back at home.

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Q: Did you always want to be a male dancer? Daisy, Canterbury

A: For me it started when I was around seven or eight years-old and I watched Dick Van Dyke in old movies like Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. That’s when I decided I wanted to be able to tap dance.

Q: Have you been to Kent before? Where do you like to hang out when you’re not on duty? Bex, Maidstone

A: I’m from Kent! I grew up in Herne Bay. Whitstable is a favourite place of mine. So is the Ashford Designer Outlet!

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Tap Factory is showing at The Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Wed 6 Apr, 7.30pm. To book your tickets click here

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