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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Past its Sell By: theatre review "Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games"

    Ever since Riverdance exploded on the scene in the Eurovision song contest a few years ago, I've been wanting to see the show.  Last night we finally saw it at the Dominion Theatre in London. Unfortunately, I waited too long. The show is well past its sell-by.
    The theatre was only half full and the audience seemed to be mostly Irish which surprised me, as I thought Riverdance had become pretty mainstream.
     The ubiquitous Michael Flatley apparently appeared in this version last year at the London Palladium but he's now retired. He was still present however in a starting video and three holograms at the end.
    Where to begin? Firstly, I found the video surround too busy and frantic. I hoped that for some of the dances we might have scenery, like a ballet, but no, the video persisted for the entire show. The challenge was padding out the traditional "Riverdance" elements, so there was a rough theme of a battle between good and evil with macho dancers in studded black outfits stomping around one minute and girls in white floaty frocks with bucolic backgrounds the next.
    The dancing, when it going, showed occasional flashes of brilliance: the way the lead dancers trip so lightly across the stage with their feet moving unbelievably fast.  The classic "Lord of the Dance" routines, synchronised Irish dancing with the whole troupe, was superb. But a lot of the rest was very so-so, and looked tired and tatty with both the ghastly videos and the over blinged costumes. Every now and then a woman came on and sang, or a couple of girls in sequinned dresses played the fiddle. There was one dance where the girls shook their skinny backsides at the audience with just bra tops and tights on, which seemed gratuitous rather than sensual.
    Endless encores yet we were out by 9.30. This surprised the waiting taxi drivers: one of them had gone to empty the rubbish out of his cab and hadn't expected the audience to exit so soon.

1 comment:

Trevor Woodford said...

Sad when things that were once so good and of the moment go past their sell by.....

Gadget

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