Tag Archives: Burswood Theatre




Burswood Theatre



Perth, Western Australia

reviewed by Deanna Blacher


Riverdance opened last night to a packed audience in anticipatory mood.

One could feel the expectation shimmering in the air, an expectation  that was, for the most part fulfilled.


The cast were in fine fettle , beautifully rehearsed and groomed, dancing with ebullience and an infectious joi de vivre as well as  with a  precision of footwork, par excellence , throughout the evening.


Backed by four musicians and a pre-recorded  orchestral score and the Riverdance Singers, this show made for  foot- tapping, thumpingly exhilarating entertainment.


The pre-recorded sound at times drowned out the dancers footwork and live musicians.

This would have been nothing more than an opening night glitch that will be surely be adjusted as the season progresses.


All four musicians, percussionist Guy Rickarby, violinist Niamh Fahy, piper Eamonn Galldubh and Toby Kelly on saxophone were in top form with Niamh Fahy’s exuberant fiddling in particular that set hearts racing and toes tapping. She strode across the stage as if to the manner born, all the while never missing a note or producing anything less than perfect intonation.


Tappers Kelly Isaac and Gilbert L. Bailley II added a touch of humour to the proceedings, while well schooled flamenco dancer Rocio Montoya, with beautifully controlled arm movements and machine gun footwork, added elegance, dignity and a touch of authenticity to the cross-cultural mix.


Lead dancers Maria Buffini, Catherine Collins, Clara McGillan, Brendan Dorris, Alan Kenefick, and Padraic Moyles lead a very closely  knit dance corps. Dance director Brendan de Gallai and Dance captain Niamh Eustace obviously run a tight ship – and the results showed splendidly.


Set and lighting designs worked well for the most part but I was not enamoured of the open white light , employed in the finale of the first half. All it did was wash out the costumes and faces and leave a somewhat dreary impression on what was actually a stunning dance number.


The most effective lighting, music, choreography and costume combo was in ‘Thunderstorm’: scene five in the first half.

On the whole, this was quality family entertainment by dedicated artists and stage crew who have worked hard to give untold numbers of people around the world a spring to their steps and a lift to their hearts.


Bravo .



Swan Lake on Ice



The Imperial Ice Stars



Burswood Theatre

reviewed by Deanna Blacher


Swan Lake on Ice, presented by The Imperial Ice Stars, prompted a rapturous, thoroughly deserved standing ovation on opening night at Burswood Theatre.


Not knowing what to expect – and a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist balletomaine of many decades – it was with some trepidation that I took my seat in the sold out house. I need not have worried. Within minutes of curtain rise,  I was transported – and for all the best reasons.

 swan Lake

This was not a contemporary take on Swan Lake in the manner of, say, Matthew Bourne. Nor was it entirely faithful to the original, which would have been an impossibility given the very different techniques of classical ballet and ice skating


One was left in no doubt, though, that we were in the company of great artists and great skaters, whether in the leading roles or smaller parts. This production carried no passengers..


By and large, the overall story was adhered to, the story made perhaps more plausible in this version. The original 4 acts were played in two, the roles of black and white swans divided. – and von Rothbart acquired a host of attendants.

And the music for the famous, 32 fouette episode ended up as a London Palladium-type duet for Siegfried and Benno !

Swan Lake - red

Highlights were the pas de deux of Odette and Siegfried,  which was  a very beautiful,  part aerial ballet, part skating choreography. And the Pas de Quatre of the cygnets was brilliantly transposed for skaters.The finale of the first half was also a show stopper with von Rothbart left twirling in a ring of fire.


All principal roles were well cast with some fine mime from consummate artists.


Sets were reminiscent of Tolstoy’s Russia , the costumes and lighting absolutely impeccable.


There was the odd wobble in final poses and an occasional fluffed lift but these are small  quibbles , and due, no doubt,  to opening night nerves.


Despite being left with some doubts as to the viability of some of the alterations made to the story and the original Tchaikowsky music, this is, overall, a winner and should provide happy hours for everyone, young and old throughout the world. Bravo!