October 28, 2009
New Theatre, 28 October 2009Lord of the Dance was like an Irish variety show, complete with soulful singers, hot fiddlers, and of course lots and lots of mincy-foot Irish dancing. It is without a doubt a show that will divide opinion, but if you like it you will love it, as the roses, placards and cat calls from the adoring audience clearly showed.
The dancing was, of course, excellent. A full stage of men and women going through complicated routines with their feet all moving at 100 miles per hour, and in time, is something to behold. Especially impressive were the times when a fast and musical rhythm was beat out by the dancers while still looking graceful in exactly the way that tap dancing doesn’t. However, it must be said that the dancing did not at all times gel with the music, and that my companion and I both questioned whether all the taps and clicks, which were meant to look like they were coming from the dancers, really were.
The next big draw was the music which again, of course, was excellent. Flitting between the delicate and soulful solo singer to what could only be described as stomping grandiose Irish folk, I enjoyed every bit of it. However, to increase the tension the music was gradually pumped louder and louder until the volume got really quite fierce.
Which leads me onto my biggest problem with the show, apart from the shockingly self-loving lead role, which I can’t even bring myself to talk about; it really struggled to fill the hour and a half, and had to resort to quite unsubtle means to do so. In order to create a sense of crescendo the music was just made louder and faster, to create excitement explosions and powerful strobes were used time and again, and for some inexplicable reason they decided that two of the routines should only be done in leggings and sports bras.
Not subtle. But then, you don’t come for the subtlety, do you? You come for stomping Irish dancing, shameless self congratulation and heaps and heaps of fun. And that is what you get. Super.