Review: Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games at the Dominion Theatre

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Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is a one of a kind show which must not be missed.

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In 1995 when Michael Flatley parted ways with the Irish dance phenomenon Riverdance due to creative differences, nothing could have prepared the world for the masterpiece he would go on to create. No one could have ever anticipated an Irish dance show that could be so popular that it would sell out arenas around the world. In 1996 Lord of the Dance premiered and was met with unbelievable success. Now, Michael Flatley is back in the West End for his final performance, with his new show Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games.

Dangerous Games follows the same story as the original show, as the Lord of the Dance battles against the evil Dark Lord “Don Dorcha”. Throughout this battle the Lord is aided by the Little Spirit, but is also tempted by the lustful and wicked Morrighan the Temptress, whilst the pure Saoirse fights for the love of the Lord of the Dance. The show is an exhilarating spectacle of colour, lights, music and dance. From the opening moments, the room is filled with an overwhelming atmosphere of Celtic spirit, whilst the iconic music played on the tin whistle is capable of giving goosebumps to everyone in the audience.

The show’s main strength is the wide variety inherent in its acts. One minute the stage is being glided across by a graceful solo female in balletic style, and the next it is dominated by an army of robotic males who appear to be marching for battle. However the show would not be as sensational as it is without its incredible dancers. Although it was created and originally performed by Michael Flatley, lead dancer James Keegan certainly steps up to the challenge as a worthy replacement. Keegan’s passion and energy on stage is mesmerising and he could not be more suited to the role of the Lord of the Dance. He and his fellow leading men Matt Smith and Fergal Keane are faced with the unbelievable pressure of living up to Flatley’s unforgettable dancing talent, but they certainly succeed.

In contrast to the Lord of the Dance’s goodness is the “Dark Lord” performed by James Breen, Lewis Childs and Niall McNally. This role is executed very powerfully, and the dancers succeed in adapting to a dance style which exemplifies evil and power. Allied on the side of evil is Morrighan, portrayed by Aimee Black, as well as Simona Mauriello and Frances Dunne. Black dominates in her performance and exudes attitude whenever she leaps across the stage. The opposite role of “Saoirse” is performed by Katrina O’Donnell, along with Kevinagh Dargan and Caroline Gray and is filled with the utmost elegance and grace.

The acts in which the whole ensemble perform on stage together are undoubtedly the most entertaining, as dozens of dancers hit the stage with great speed and force, all perfectly in sync. The back up dancers are what make the show what it is, especially in performing the famous finale wherein Michael Flatley himself makes an appearance. Although Flatley is not present for the entirety of the show, as he was in his prime, this short performance demonstrates that he still has all of his previous energy, charisma, and passion for Irish dancing. He leads his troupe with unbelievable pride, and is responsible for bringing the show to an explosive climax. Flatley is a one of a kind ambassador for Irish dance and really is, the true Lord of the Dance. 

Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games is at at the Dominion Theatre until 6th September 2015. Tickets are priced between £19.50 to £90 and are available here.

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Former Film Editor for The Edge, second year history student, Irish dancer and film enthusiast. My biggest inspiration is by Bear Grylls. Yes Bear Grylls. Originally from West London.

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