As part of its world tour Michael Flatley’s new spectacular, Dangerous Games, brings glitz and pyrotechnics to The Alhambra where LEO OWEN caught the show

AS the opening tap routine becomes more frantic, a self-congratulatory montage of all the show’s sell-out locations increases speed. Flatley’s revamp of his much-celebrated signature show honours its Irish origins with fiddlers, tin whistles and renditions of classic tunes, including its namesake.

From Victoria’s Secret models to army combats, Robocop, matching crop-topped PE ensembles, Terminator style costumes and colourful traditional garb, Dangerous Minds certainly doesn’t skimp on its eclectic wardrobes. Projected digital backdrops are equally as distracting, moving from a fiery inferno to a fairy garden, starry night sky, falling Chinese lanterns, jungle scene and waterfall.

While undoubtedly a sensory overload, the show’s loose good versus evil plotline often results in a strange disparity between backdrop, costume or mood: a gold onesied nymph slinks across the stage amid dancers dressed as monks; later, a seductress clad in red bondage gear is surrounded by girls in different coloured traditional dress who inexplicably strip down to tights, shorts and bras to showcase some speedy leg work. Gratuitous nudity seems to be yet another distraction with whoops of delight as the vest tops come off for press-ups, topless six packs and scantily-clad lithe beauties.

A series of pleasant diversions, sometimes impressive in energy, step volume and synchronicity, but always vainglorious, despite a weak plot thread, barely holding it all together. Flatley continues to pedal his one trick pony, using live solo vocals and fiddler duets to lazily bridge together each routine, padding out his Ireland’s Got Talent act with lazy fillers. If you are a Flatley fan, have got Irish roots, love to dance or don’t get out very often, you might just find yourself dazzled and join in the standing ovation. All that glitters, doesn’t necessarily shine but will certainly attract the magpies.

Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games shows at The Alhambra 8-12 March 2017 before stopping later this month in Leeds as part of its global tour: