Belfast Telegraph

Review: Lord returns for one last dance with Lady Nadine

Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games, Odyssey, Belfast

By Andrew Johnston

There is nothing low-key or understated about Michael Flatley's supposed swan song to the stage. The Irish-American's latest Lord of the Dance spectacular is as cheesy, overblown and outrageous as all the rest.

From the video introduction in which Flatley brags about the walls he and his company have had to go "over, around or through" during the past 20 years to the main man's messiah-like appearance in the second half, the brazenly titled Dangerous Games seems to have been created in a demented alternate universe.

But then, what would you expect from someone who's a 'safari room' in his Cork mansion, complete with stuffed head of an endangered rhinoceros?

Yet there is something to be admired about Flatley's refusal to act humble and his showbiz approach to Irish dancing has had the same sledgehammer-like effect on audiences as Andre Rieu's arena-friendly take on classical music.

There wasn't an empty seat in the house for the special performance which saw Flatley's locally reared surrogate Morgan Comer - surely Kilwaughter's most famous son - take the lead in a typically grandiose tale of good vs evil.

The Northern Ireland connection continued with Girls Aloud's Nadine Coyle returning to the Odyssey stage to belt out a string of power ballads, revealing a powerful vocal chops that had not been readily apparent within the confines of her pop combo.

If proceedings suffered from an over-reliance on both the videos screens and the recurring strains of Flatley's titular signature tune, the crowd seemed willing to forgive it for the chance to be in the company of the original Lord one more time.

Three stars

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