Review of 'Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games'

Lord of the Dance

lord-of-the-dance-banner.jpg http://www.lordofthedance.com/

I have to first start and say that I can't say I ever really paid too much attention to Lord of the Dance but, of course, before the show I knew of Michael Flatley and his amazing Irish “Riverdance”. Who hasn't? Flatley's amazing tap-dance prowess and has brought contemporary Irish dance to millions around the world in sold-out performances, indeed, this fact is actually given to us in a rather tacky video shown at the beginning of “Dangerous Games” that is nothing more than an advertisement for “Lord of the Dance” (cynically one could suggest that this is to convince us that the show to follow will be great). “Dangerous Games” was created, directed, produced, and choreographed by Flatley but I can't say it has the magic I remember seeing with Flatley's performances. Indeed, the highlight of the show is when Flatley makes an appearance as a “hologram” late in the show where his dancing just blows away anything we have seen on the stage the rest of the evening.

The show consists of a series of musical numbers with contrasting styles so, for example, two ladies playing electric violins, followed by a lady performing a solo dance number, then an ensemble tap-dancing piece, then a lady singing, etc, with the acts making several appearances in the two-part show. Ostensibly there is a story here but it is minimal at best: Basically, good vs. evil with a baddie determined to take the “Lord of the Dance” title (and girl) away from the lead dancer (James Keegan/Morgan Comer) who seems to be trying to channel Flatley - though with little of the innocent yet cheeky charm of the original. From his first appearance on the stage he motions to the audience to clap and stand…I would suggest that this perhaps comes a bit later after we see that there is something to stand for…? He seems endlessly disappointing at the lacklustre response to his efforts. Yes, the leads certainly all have a lot of talent but just not a lot of the heart that I remember seeing in Flatley.

The show just never seems to get going and I am not sure if it is the small length of the various segments. The massive video screens which are intended to enhancement the show just seem to be distracting more than anything else. The videos are often extremely visual and vibrant but not terribly artistic (certainly not subtle in any way) - More videos of fire? Oh dear. The so-called holograms have to be the highlight of the evening (both times featuring the missing Flatly). The costumes are also similarly over the top - Robots with glowing red eyes (ouch), baddies covered in body armour (including over the head), and tight outfits on women.

On the plus side, the music is quite good and the tap dancing, when it is on stage, is amazing. It is just that the show and even the dancing never really goes anywhere even in the inevitable confrontation between good and evil at the end. Often it seems to be “just another tap number” with little to differentiate it from the previous performances. The dancing of the “Little Spirit” (Georgia Demmon) is quite good though made me think of Cirque du Soliel which this appears to mirror, however, she is out of sync with the rest of this show being the only one that shows off a great deal of flexible athletics (though the same moves repeated over and over again). She stands out a bit like a sore thumb.

So, a disappointment all around but, still, it is good to see live. Ideally you want to have a clear line of sight to watch their feet tapping the incredibly complex tap dancing moves. Wow. There is still something incredible to see a group of dancers completely in sync doing incredibly complicated moves. But you will have to be patient through the other parts of the show before you are rewarded…

Rating:

Review Date: 2015-12-10



Playhouse Theatre

Location: London (England)

Address: Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5DE

Public Transport: TUBE Embankment TUBE Charing Cross NRLOGO Charing Cross

Telephone: +44 (0) 844 871 7631

URL: http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/playhouse-theatre/

A tiny theatre located out of the way just under the bridge from Embankment tube or around the corner from Charing Cross. It has a tiny foyer (and bar) with toilets and cloakroom (and bar) in the basement. The interior is quite well maintained with the typical Greek gods and such.

The stalls are just above street level with circle and balcony levels above as well as two boxes on either side of the stage. Seats are quite comfortable and the theatre is air conditioned.

Home to some of the slightly-less mainstream acts/shows that come to the West End.