Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games at Liverpool Empire

Posted on 30 April 2015
By Terri McBride
  • Share:

It may be difficult to believe, but it was 29 years ago that Michael Flatley took the world by storm with his mesmerising Lord of the Dance mega-dance spectacular. Yet from the moment the huge ticking clock that dominates the back drop of the stage at the beginning of Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games, it is though time stands still at The Liverpool Empire Theatre, such is the magical exuberance of this latest incarnation of the Flatley masterpiece.

Not for the faint-hearted this, as the pulse jolting spectacle extends far beyond the incredible talent that is on show through the dancers, vocalists and musicians. Through a series of holograms and lasers and dry ice, the audience is treated to a plethora of effects, each as beautifully designed and made real as the next, ranging from galloping and grazing horses, fluttering butterflies, unicorns and a myriad of rainbows seemingly appearing from out of the ether. Even writing about the effect these jam-dropping graphics have sends a tingle along the skin, so physically watching them transpire is so magical the sensation becomes almost indescribable.

Yet it is the incredible cast, the glorious costumes and the simply fabulous musicians – particularly the superlative defying Giada Costenaro Cunningham and Eimear Reilly on fiddles – whose performances will live in the memory long after the curtain comes down.

Cathal Keaney as The Lord of the Dance is remarkable whereas Tom Cunningham and Zoltan Papp as his nemesis, The Dark Lord, are stupefying in their command and control. In the role of Erin the Goddess, Rachael O’Connor brilliantly vocalises the story with a strength of voice that is just astonishing, while Jess Judge personifies perfectly the innocence of all that love is as The Little Spirit. Indeed, in a show crammed with energy, vitality and excitement the very fact that Judge is so often on stage is testament not only to her capabilities, but also to the sheer physical will and endurance of each and every performer.

And then, as though all of this wasn’t enough, we are treated to an army of Stormtrooper Robots, who lift the whole vision to a level we never dreamed existed and, as a real show-stopper, Michael Flatley himself puts in a virtual appearance that has to be seen to be believed.

With music that is as eclectic, moving and exhilarating as any huge show has a right to expect, more surprises than anything the world’s biggest Christmas stocking could contain and some of arguably the greatest dancing to have ever filled the vast Liverpool Empire stage, Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is an absolute triumph that will have those lucky enough to be able to see it, leaping from their seats in awe at its end.

Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games
Liverpool Empire Theatre
April 28 – May 2, 2015
Creator / Director: Michael Flatley
Dance Director: Marie Duffy Pask
Composer: Gerard Fahy
Cast Includes: Cathal Keaney, Niamh Taylor, Morgan Comer, Tom Cunningham, Jess Judge, Zoltan Papp, Nikita Cassidy
PR Rating: ***** Magical