Friday, December 1

Lord of the Dance: 25 Years of Standing Ovations – Palace Theatre

It’s hard to believe that 25 years have passed since Michael Flatley stepped aside from Riverdance and created Lord of the Dance. In fact, it’s now 28 years since that spectacular Eurovision interval act, that I still think to this day is the only interval act to overshadow the song contest itself! Since then, it has gone on to sell over 60 million tickets in over 1000 venues across the world.

It puts such a joyous smile on your face to watch these fantastic dancers in action. The audience were clapping along and cheering from the very beginning. I think it’s the positive energy the show gives us that makes it so infectious.

Gerard Fahy who composed the music for the original show has written some new music for this production. It feels more like an update than brand new material.

Anyone going to Lord of the Dance expecting to see a fantastically thought-out narrative will be disappointed. This is all about the dancing with some sort of plot weaved into to make it flow. The basics of plot are good vs evil, and I think we all know how those go.

Having seen Lord of the Dance a few times in my life, I was slightly disappointed that much of the choreography on show tonight was recycled material from previous shows. Perhaps that was the intention of the 25th anniversary, however I would have liked some choreography that I felt like I haven’t seen before.

The Lord of the Dance in tonight’s production is Matthew Smith. He certainly has the energy needed to fill the leading role. Even after the first number he’s asking the audience to cheer louder.

However, we all know the best thing about any kind of Irish dancing is the ensemble pieces. There’s nothing more fantastic to see a group of 20+ dancers all in sync and in time.

To facilitate costume changes between numbers we are treated to some singing and some violinists. I don’t think the singer particularly added anything special or unique to the performance but the two girls playing the violins were superb. Moving around the stage and playing at the same time was no mean feat.

Lord of the Dance is always a spectacular watch. Definitely a great show for those with an interest in dance to watch.

Manchester is the final stop of the UK leg of the tour. More information and tickets can be found at

Reviewer: Brian Madden

Reviewed: 14th July 2022

North West End Rating: ★★★