Review: Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, New Theatre, Cardiff

Andy Howells reviews Michael Flatley’s Lord of the dance at Cardiff’s New Theatre.

Michael Flatley’s worldwide success, Lord of the Dance enters its 25th year in style with a fresh presentation, currently playing a three-night run at Cardiff’s New Theatre.

The dance spectacular’s storyline emerges from the dreams of a Little spirit and is a classic tale of good versus evil. In the Spirit’s dreams the Lord represents all that is good but must fight evil in the form of The Dark Lord and his followers. Using Flatley’s original  brand of Irish dance as the key element of storytelling, both  energy and drama explode onto the stage as the exotic Morrighan the Temptress comes between The Lord and his true love Saoirse.

The storyline itself, like many a dance presentation is up for the audience own translation, however that doesn’t stop Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance demonstrate a universal appeal from the off. Combining projections, atmospheric lighting and Gerard Fahy’s outstanding soundtrack, Lord of the Dance showcases a powerhouse dance ensemble that dazzle with beautiful costumes, bright smiles and tight, vibrant choreography.

Dance Captain’s Matt Smith and Zoltan Papp represent the opposing forces of good and evil respectively and frequently delight with their technique. They also waste no time in encouraging audience  participation to clap along as the storyline intensifies and explodes with further bursts of energetic dancing.

Cassidy Ludwig’s Little spirit steals the hearts of the audience as she narrates her dream through a collection of dance sequences, while Wales own Celyn Cartwright provides some welcome excursions from the dance action as she showcases her vocal talents by translating the dancers’ words as Erin the Goddess.

No doubt, director Michael Flatley must be proud of his ensemble cast. Many weren’t even born when Lord of the Dance premiered a quarter of a century ago before beginning its worldwide journey as the worlds greatest dance show.  There is also a bonus for those who missed the Flatley play the Lord on previous tours as some of dance magic appears via a video projection towards the shows climax! The Lord of the Dance remains Michael Flatley’s vision to entertain and delight however, rather than being about the man himself and personally, I think that’s how he wants it.

Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance is set to keep dancing into the next 25 years and beyond! Don’t miss this mesmerising dance presentation!

  • Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance continues at Cardiff’s New Theatre until April 27. For details visit the New Theatre website.

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