Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games, Playhouse Theatre, London
Reviewed by Richard Lambert 19/1/16
Created, Directed and Choreographed by Michael Flatley
Composed by Gerard Fahy
Designed by Paul Normandale
Costumes by Debbie Bennett
Video by http://jadigital.tv/
Starring James Keegan as the Lord of the Dance
The Choreography was amazing! It was fast and relentless in energy and ideas!
The Cast were tight and on it 100%. Their unison, line spacing, block formation, posture second to none!
The lighting rig was immense. More of a rock show than a dance format. Clearly some of the Blocking had changed with Focus Downstage-Centre while Singer Upstage Centre top of rostra. Lots of “sharpy looks”
The sound system was very good. Perhaps a little too loud for the live singer. Perfect on dance tracks, float mics for floor tapping, and 2 x live Violin ladies.
The Video system was immense: rear pixel wall in place of cyc fronted by Rostra platform and steps. Additional midstage false proscenium made up of pixel wall tiles. The Video Content covered space, stars, forests, waterfalls, fireworks, fire…….if I ever want to experience an LSD trip without doing the drugs…..
The Set was the Video system and some large treads leading up to the Rostra Platform across the back. It allowed plenty of room for the dancing!
The Star of the Show, James Keegan. What a hottie!!! With his cumberband Champion belt emblazoned “Lord of the Dance.” Sharp haircut, cocky swaggering, abs you could sharpen a knife on and the most incredible Irish Dance ability ever!!!
The girls were beautiful, lovely, holding hands, skipping around to lyrical music. The boys were macho, masculine, and did military block formations to perfection –the boys didn’t hold hands. An occasional matey punch from James Keegan for encouragement here and there as he played the role of drill sergeant. All very traditionally sexist and family valued!!!!
Of course there was a war between the boys in black (the bad guys) and the boys in white (the good guys). I’m not sure that this was the best choice of colour coding your army. They fought tooth and nail through heel taps and thigh slaps (all wars should be fought this way!)
The baddies broke Puck’s Pan Pipe Flutey thing she mimed/lip synced with throughout (covering costumes changes?). Through tears she managed a few high kicks to cheer herself up. The Lord of the Dance magically put it back together by holding it behind his back. She was thrilled to get back her greatest love – but promptly forgot it and left it offstage for the rest of the show. I’ll never forget her coming up on the platform elevator doing a back bend with hands and feet on the same spot on the floor. Shimmering silver body hugging lycra costume left nothing to the imagination. Now that’s how you make an entrance!!!
There were argonaut’esque video wars on the video screen, Robots with Red LED eyes and Green LED chest cavities. Armadillo clad and shirtless marine costumes for the boys. Lovely short dresses, coloured tutus and fluorescent sports bra outfits for the girls. All in all quite incredible. The boys haircuts were short and sharp, the girls big and flouncy with lots of hair flicks throughout! Marvellous!
I didn’t have a clue why we were one minute in space and the next minute in a forest watching unicorns, doves and multi-coloured butterflies, but who cares. Not me! There are creative people, there are very creative people, and then there’s “Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games” which is off the scale!
If I had one criticism it would be with the finale encores you don’t quite know which piece of dance is going to be the final one, so you’re waiting for an indication of which really is the last one – at which point I’m sure there would have been a standing ovation. What we got was 3 encores, a blackout, an enthusiastic clapping cheering audience and then House Lights. I felt a little sad for the Cast about this! A slight change of format here would have brought the standing ovation the show deserved!
A must see show before it closes end of Jan 2016.