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Theatre Review: Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games (UK Tour)

by Katey Thompson

Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games review (UK Tour): Good battles Evil in our dreams to see who will be the Lord of the Dance.

Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games review by Katey Thompson at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking.

Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games review

Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games review

The story behind the latest incarnation of the Lord of the Dance is set in the dreamworld of the Little Spirit and is a classic battle between good and evil.  The Lord of the Dance is symbolic of all the good in the world and battles to protect the Spirit from the Dark Lord who represents all that is evil in the dreamworld.  

The opening scene starts with the sound of a clock ticking down to midnight to the dream of the Little Spirit who is ably played by Georgia Demmon, a very flexible acrobat and expressive dancer. This opening sequence sees Michael Flatley make his first virtual appearance, a role he reprises towards the end of the performance.

The use of a computer generated image as the backdrop provided a detailed and constantly moving montage to the story.  At times it showed various dream worlds some of which could only have been from the imagination of a young child – unicorns, fallow deer, horses and butterflies racing across the background.  This was contrasted starkly with the darker scenes, where flames and cave scenes gave a very effective sinister setting to the darker elements of the performance.  Although the graphics were very impressive, they did look strangely dated and reminded me of some slightly naff screen-savers, which did distract from the skillful performance on the stage by the fantastically talented dancers.  There was so much going on between stage and backdrop you almost wanted to look away to give your eyes a break from the visual feast.

Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games review

Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games review

When you weren’t looking at the eye popping backdrop, it was a challenge to not look at the feet of the dancers.  Incredulous that they were able to create such a rhythm with a flick of their heels, but as the performance was aurally enhanced with a backing track, some moves were perhaps a dance step too far and sounds didn’t quite match dance moves.

The struggles between good and evil were easily distinguished due to the colours and outfits of the dancers.   The costume changes were impressive, with a huge variety of ambitious outfits, some of which couldn’t handle the stress of the performance, a few threads going astray, perhaps due to the sheer number of changes throughout.

Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games review

Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games review

The energy from the lead dancers Matt Smith, Erin Kate McIlravey and Andrea Kren was infectious, and their performances stood on their own merit.  They carried the show through.  The Dancers were flawless in their coordination and timing, every one of them moving in perfect synchronicity.  There has clearly been a lot of work put into the performance by all the dancers, a fact that Micheal Flatley is keen to point out in the title sequence.  I think the dance performance spoke for itself and having not seen this show before, I found it difficult not to tap my foot, clap along, and have still yet to get the rhythm out of my head.  

The appearance of Michael Flatley in triplicate on the video screen at the end of the show highlighted not just the skill of his dancing but the proportionate size of his ego, something which has clearly been instrumental in the success of this show to date.  Perhaps this was a little unnecessary as the dancers themselves owned the stage, so move over Michael and let the next generation take centre stage.

Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games review by Katey Thompson, February 2017.

Lord of the Dance is running at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking until 19th February, 2017.

 

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