Riverdance 21st Birthday at the Regent Theatre Stoke Review

Riverdance21Riverdance 21st Birthday
Regent Theatre, Stoke

6-7 May 2016


Reviewed by Katy Nettleton

This is an unmissable chance for UK audiences to reconnect with what the Irish Times rightly described as “The Original…The Best”.

The Washington Post exclaimed, “Its continued popularity proves that it was, and remains, a phenomenon of historic proportions!”

The cast for this tour will feature, for the first time, some dancers who were actually born in the same year that the show first opened; 1995 at the Point Theatre in Dublin!

Having heard the hype about this amazing show, I thought it was worth going to watch with it being local (ish). All I can say is I was not disappointed!

This is a dance show like no other, at first I thought it would be just “Irish dancing” for a couple of hours but how wrong was I? This is a show that combines live music, singing, dancing, and acting to create a spine tingling, excellent performance. The hairs on my arms have not yet settled it was so good!

The staging, lighting (there is strobe lighting for anyone who may be sensitive to this), acting (the dancers and musicians were often acting their parts as well), and movements between scenes was magical; the whole show was magical!

It is hard to say what the stand out part of the show (from most of the shows I go and see there is normally an actor/singer or scene which is more memorable) was for me as I am re-living each scene as I write (hence why I may be jumping (or dancing) from part to part!). The way in which a drum, violin and accordion come together to create a rhythm for the dancers was amazing. The way in which the lead dancers (all of them) were co-ordinated even down to when they turned to look in different directions (this was down to the millisecond), demonstrates how all the dancers are finely tuned and professional. I loved the “little tricks” which was put in to “lighten the mood” and the way in which the music was brought to life with dancing alongside. It is truly hard to describe in words the feeling the show created within me – it was inspirational.

I don’t want to give too much away with regards to content but I will say – in the culinary world you would call it an “infusion of flavours”; there was Irish, street and Flamenco dance styles demonstrated with the same level of professionalism. There was even a “dance-off” and a “musician-off” (if that is a word!).

I am in awe of the dancers – the way in which they effortlessly continually moved their legs for long periods of time and at a quick pace is inspiring (whilst keeping a smile on their face and looking fresh!). All the dancers had smiles on their face and you could tell they truly enjoy performing, as did the audience watching. Emma Watsons’ (one of the Lead Dancers) smile was infectious – when she danced her eyes lit up and so did the audiences to watch a truly magnificent performance.

I couldn’t complete the review without complementing the singers (chorus), musicians and dress design; professional and supported the creation of a perfect atmosphere.

I would defy anyone who said they weren’t clapping along and mesmerised by the performance and show. At the end there were numerous people (of all generations) “jigging along” as we waited to leave the theatre and can truly say everyone had a smile on their face (audience and performers).

Overall I will give this 5 out of 5 and say it was truly worth the standing ovation; my only regret is I did not take my children to watch!

Rating: 5/5 thumbs_up

Tickets cost from  £37.65 to £49.15 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).

Riverdance 21 is at the Regent Theatre in Stoke until 7 May 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 7649

Regent Theatre, Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 1AP | 0844 871 7649


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