REVIEW: Lord of the Dance – Dangerous Games @ Brighton Centre

Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games returned to the Brighton Centre last night, 20 years after Flatley launched the original Lord of the Dance following parting company with Riverdance.

This production is technically stunning. The first half of the show is beautifully crafted creating for me the most complete and perfect 45 minutes of theatre I have enjoyed in a long, long time. The second half is just as fine but lacks the contrasts, the highs and lows that are conjured up in the first half.

The story is a classic tale of good versus evil and that’s all you need to know. Just sit back and just enjoy the ride.

I would have preferred that the backing music was live but the economics of touring a show on this scale today, clearly makes that difficult. The two violinists Giada Costenaro Cunningham and Nicole Lonergan both looked great and sounded even better as did vocalist Sophie Evans. All three brought Gerard Fahys anthemic music to life providing a lovely contrast to mainly staccato ensemble male dance numbers.

This show is all about the Lord and last nights Lord played by Matt Smith did not disappoint. He commanded the stage and while at times somewhat lacked the arrogant swagger this part demands, was a delight to watch as he clearly created a bond with the ladies in the audience.

This show is no longer just about the dance. Its technical achievements are world-class and without the spectacular visuals and production, 20 years into its run, Lord of the Dance might well struggle to hold its audience.

What started as a vehicle to promote traditional Irish dancing, now pushes all boundaries creating a unique concept that continues to find a new audience each year. That is Flatley’s legacy.

This is five-star entertainment, delivered by a fine and well-drilled group of Irish dancers who at times appear to fly through the air. It was wonderful to watch.

You still have time to take in a performance tonight at 8pm or tomorrow, Sunday 12 at 7.30pm.

Very highly recommended.

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