Presented by: Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and David Atkins Enterprises
Venue: Civic Theatre, Newcastle (49291977)
Season: Ends Sunday
ON previous Australian tours,
If anything, the audience is able to focus more on the story behind the dancing.
The show looks through dance, music and song at the history of the Irish people, from the time the Sun brings light and life to the Earth until the present day. There is a lot of humour in the routines, especially in a scene showing male Irish immigrants in a United States city street competing with a pair of Afro-Americans to see who can do the funkiest dance.
One of the strengths of the show is the way it balances emotions. Villagers departing Ireland for the New World in the wake of a famine dance gracefully with those staying at home in a poignant farewell. In the next scene, the dancing is brisk as the sea journey is depicted against the projected background of a sailing ship.
The influence of other cultures on Ireland and the Irish is not ignored, with a Spanish dancer delivering stunning flamenco and the Afro-Americans performing dazzling tap.
It's a show, too, where the musicians do more than sit behind music stands. The fiddler, Patrick Mangan, especially is frequently playing among the dancers. Mangan, the son of Irish immigrants in New York's Brooklyn, made his first appearance in a