Good and bad showstopper

Morgan Comer as Lord Of The Dance in Lord Of The Dance
Morgan Comer as Lord Of The Dance in Lord Of The Dance
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Review: Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games, Opera House, Blackpool

In a story telling a simple tale of good vs bad, Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games appears to unwittingly feature a little good with a little bad, too.

Michael Flatley’s show-stopper, the Irish musical and dance production, is spectacular, there’s no doubt about that. But there are aspects that might leave audiences a little cold.

The show opens with a young boy, Flatley’s son, watching a clock that is moving without its hands going anywhere. It’s a similar story for the first 15 minutes of the show, there’s movement but nothing seems to be happening. So there’s a palpable sense of relief when finally the dancing starts, and is it ever amazing.

It’s almost superhuman the speed with which the feet of the cast move, whether in tap or ballet shoes, even with some street dance influences on occasion, and time seems to stop as dancers leap and bound effortlessly.

And not just for the dancing, the two violinists and vocalist are fantastic, too.

The story of the show is that simple tale of good vs evil, as the Lord of the Dance takes on the Dark Lord, watched over by the Little Spirit – an athletic ‘imp’ whose gymnastics offer another take on what it means to be a dancer. Their battle is a highlight of the show as the men pick up incredible pace.

This good and bad divide is somewhat unwittingly continued in the staging of the show, though. While every inch of the dancing – its musicality, its vigour, its speed – is so very good, sadly other aspects are just bad; cheesy background videos, hammed up acting and outlandish pyrotechnics.

Yet it’s no surprise to see thousands of people packing into the auditorium for this. This is one of the best selling shows in the world, after all.

So why the need to have a troupe of female dancers whip their dresses off to dance in just bras and tights during one routine?

Largely though, Lord of the Dance is breathtaking for all the right reasons.

And when Michael Flatley returns to the stage, thrice over, for a finale sequence, the audience is filled with hope that, despite protestations that this year will be his final shows, Lord Of The Dance will continue for another 20 years.

It plays the final show of a three-night run in the Opera House tonight from 8pm.

KATIE UPTON