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Lord of the Dance (Tour – Liverpool)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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For the very first time: no programme; is this show really that well known? And are many people aware this is the title of a hymn, though fans of course inevitably respond with religious fervour.

Fittingly, some settings resemble temples, and there’s a lot of good old fashioned shock and awe: bright lights and loud bangs. The video backdrop also seems largely sponsored by the Irish Tourist Board.

Anyway, at a guess, (the website has several options for the main characters): our hero David McCabe was fantastic while Dark Lord, Brendan McCarron, complete with Prussian helmet and hedgehog spikes, gave him a run for his money, not to mention a hop, skip and a jump. Saoirse (blonde) could have been Laura Jones, but Morrighan (brunette) was probably Aisling Murphy, courtesy of the complementary backdrop.

The footwork is spectacular; you cannot dismiss it as glorified tap dancing, particularly when the entire cast is thundering out a thrillingly primeval routine. But you can speculate on all the borrowings. The showcase includes some wondrous singing from Deirdre Shannon and even more wonderful violinists (Giada Costenaro and Sarah Lynch), but shows off the men whilst showing up the women: stereotypical Barbie doll line-up, complete with Cheryl Cole hair. Big hair is as rampant as a commercial, even an episode of One Man and His Dog – there goes that missing sheep. Worse still, they have to be content to floating around like fairies, although spiced up with erotic interludes.

And the men are lumbered with a contrived plot which becomes apparent only late on, although of course, good triumphs over evil. Which just about says it for the show; you cannot fault the passion, enthusiasm and expertise.

-Carole Baldock


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