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Essence Of Ireland, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, June 26
It’s not quite Riverdance, but Essence Of Ireland proved to be a very good show nonetheless - and had almost everything you could want.
Traditional Irish dances and songs were done full justice by an enthusiastic cast, superbly led by principal dancer Ross Logan.
Logan, a strange mixture of Michael Flatley and Rik Mayall, was a cheeky chappy with oodles of charm and charisma.
Dance partner Lianne Stubbs did her best to compete, without quite coming up to Logan's level.
There were only ten main dancers who gave their all to entertain an appreciative foot-tapping audience and even added a touch of Stomp, with dustbin lids and broomsticks.
Vocalist Ged Graham, backed by excellent musicians, sang a selection of lively songs including The Galway Girl, Celtic Salsa, The Spanish Lady, Gypsy, You Raise Me Up, Irish Rover, Danny Boy and Lord Of The Dance.
Essence Of Ireland tells a love story between two young people, Cora and Sean, forced to part to find work. Sean goes off to England and then America, where he joins the police force and writes home to his love.
Sadly, he never sends for Cora and instead marries Mary. They have a long life together but he still writes to Cora. Finally, after Mary dies, he longs to return home to Ireland and dance with Cora one last time.
The story, the songs, the humour and the dancing - which also featured children - were all quintessentially Irish.
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