Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games

Dance , Folk and ethnic
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 2 out of 5 stars
(4 user reviews)
0 Love It
Save it
© Brian Doherty

Michael Flatley

© Brian Doherty

Nadine Coyle (The Goddes Erin)

© Brian Doherty

Alice Upcott (Little Spirit)

© Brian Doherty

James Keegan (Lord Of The Dance)

© Tristram Kenton

James Keegan (Lord Of The Dance)

© Tristram Kenton

James Keegan (Lord Of The Dance)

© Brian Doherty

Michael Flatley

© Tristram Kenton

Michael Flatley

Michael Flatley's back! And this time he's brought along Nadine Coyle, for some reason

Michael Flatley's 'Lord of the Dance' returns to the West End in October 2015. This is a review of the 2014 run. Flatley will be performing from October 10 - January 3.

And, lo! He has come, our saviour, ready to lead us high-kicking away from the forces of darkness. Well, all right, so Michael Flatley has stopped short of selling this reboot of the spangled, turbocharged Irish dance formula that he’s been peddling around the world for 20 years, as the Second Coming.  But only just: the programme is a breathless exercise in hagiography, and the show opens by recounting  Flatley’s own story of how hard work and blistered feet turned to glittering success.

It feels more like the start of a motivational event than a dance show, but to be fair, Flatley’s achievements have been considerable: over the course of a few decades he’s taken an art form little known outside its native Ireland and made it enormously popular worldwide.

This ‘epic new spectacle’ hangs by a thread from a nonsensical plot: a ‘Little Spirit’ summons the forces of good and evil with her flute, and they then do battle against a fantastical backdrop, evoked by some very strange computer graphics: part ‘Transformers’, part ‘Care Bears’, part Lucky Charms advert. The costumes, too, are bizarre, running the gamut from robot costumes to trashy catsuits (the female dancers are cast, alternately, as whores and saints).

Through it all, at intervals, wanders former Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle, looking faintly dazed as she delivers a clutch of distinctly unmemorable songs – penned by regular Flatley collaborator Gerard Fahy – that are, in the main, too low-pitched for her voice.
But none of this, of course, matters as much as the dancing, and it is frequently spectacular.

James Keegan, one of three dancers here inheriting Flatley’s mantle as Lord of the Dance, whirls around the stage in a blur of scissor-kicks and charisma, and the impact of the whole-company unison routines is still breathtaking. When Flatley himself emerges – much later in the show than the advertising would have us believe – to lead his cast through a series of high-octane numbers, we’re reminded of how much more powerful his work is when he ditches all the flimflam, and lets the dance speak for itself.

Average User Rating

2.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening
Laura B
1 of 1 found helpful

Massively disappointing! Only about a fifth of the show is Irish dancing. The rest is some unnecessary storyline, 2 women pretending to play the violin (are there not enough people that could actually play to be be able to cast them instead?), a woman pretending to play the flute, and some song performances that were like an audition for Eurovision. The images on the screen were distracting, cheap and pointless: unicorns and waterfalls, flames and an army - why? I want to be impressed by the dancing, not distracted by graphics! Each half was only 50 minutes, which I could have understood if it was majority dancing, but it felt really disjointed as a show and I felt embarrassed for them. Their talent is undeniable, but their skills are not showcased in the best manner. Such a shame. 

Amr Tobgi


1 of 1 found helpful

Great Dancing - But poor / tacky production - and certainly over priced

Tatiana N
1 of 1 found helpful
Staff Writer

2 hours of show when only perhaps one hour is about the famous Irish dance and the rest is about Nadine Coyle singing (not impressed and not what we were there to see), a "little spirit" lizard like fairy thing ypretending (badly) to play the flute, some random 2 girls pretending to play the violin (badly) and some computer graphics that were a bit meh. The rating stars go to the dance part that was amazing. Next time maybe do an hour dance only show without trying to create a basic plot around it and it will deserve 5 starts.

Tara P

This was one of my mother's Christmas stocking presents that I'd bought very reasonably via Time Out because I thought it would be a laugh - boy I was right.

My review echoes those of the below in many respects; there wasn't enough dancing, the animation was tacky and ludicrous, and the violin/singing scenes were fake brought the show down.

However, there was no denying the skill of the dancers, and when they were given the chance to show off their talents it was very impressive.

In all, I found it a very entertaining evening due to a combination of factors; our cheap seats were upgraded to the stalls, we had an entire row to ourselves, and after a few glasses of wine the whole thing was foot-tappingly fun.

Go if you enjoy a sense of the ludicrous. Don't go if you're looking for an evening of culture, or if tickets are more than £10-15.