Crown Melbourne

Unique Irish dance show set to charm audiences

155-409711_©Philippe Fretault(1).jpg

CRAIC TEAM: The cast of Irish Celtic features some of the world’s best Irish dancers

A UNIQUE Irish dance show is set to get feet tapping in Melbourne and Sydney, with the acclaimed show Irish Celtic set to make its Australian debut.

Set in a traditional Irish pub, the show brings the warm welcome and raucous entertainment for which Ireland is known to a theatre stage to make for a night out like no other. Coming direct from successful tours of Germany and France, Irish Celtic boasts the talents of the finest performers from the best Irish dance companies as the show is choreographed by Jim Murrihy, an original cast member of Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames.

The performances are married to the musical direction of Anthony Davis whose soundtrack will remind audiences of classic films such as Titanic, Braveheart and The Last of the Mohicans and all is brought together by artistic director Toby Gough, international award-winning director of Lady Salsa which played on London’s West End for two years.

Choreographer Jim Murrihy told The Irish Echo they are excited to be bringing the show to Australia. “It’s an area we haven’t been to yet and hopefully it’s the start of many years of touring around Australia and New Zealand and Asia.

"It’s a great show and I think they’ll love it. “Irish music and dancing is accepted worldwide since 1996 when Michael Flatley and Riverdance put Irish dancing and Irish music on the map. “It goes down really well in all those countries.

476944_©Philippe Fretault(1).jpg

Even with the language barrier, I think the music and dancing pull everything together.

“It’s a theme show, set in a pub. We have a narrator who is the owner of the pub, Paddy Flynn, and it’s a simple enough story. He’s passing down keys of the pub to his son Dermot and as the show goes along, he talks about the history of the pub and all the things that used to happen there, anywhere from births to deaths to parties, we talk about the Titanic when people left Ireland to go over to the States many years ago, so he’s telling a story.

“We want the audience to get involved in the show and that’s one of the main things. We want every person to feel like they are in that pub that night that we are portraying.”

The show will electrify fans of Irish dancing who get to see the elite of the craft and what they can do.

“The majority of our dancers are world champion Irish dancers, great performers from Lord of the Dance and Riverdance so we have a very talented cast.

"The dancers are extremely talented, the cream of the crop around at the moment. You will see that in the performance. We do a great number and it’s just the four boys and the sean-nós dancer and it’s just about who can do the best rhythms and taps, who has the highest kicks, the fastest footwork and the audience really likes that.”

When asked how he thinks the show will go down with Australian audiences, Murrihy is reminded of when he came to Australia before as part of Michael Flatley’s production.

“I think it will go down well. In my experience, they have been very receptive to Irish music and Irish dance. Hopefully it will be the same, hopefully they come away smiling and clapping. If they’re cheering and clapping for the first number, then the rest of the show will be fun.

"They just sit back and relax and enjoy the show and become part of the Irish pub. We want them to feel like it’s an Irish pub.

"What we do in Ireland on a social scene witH musicians in a pub, we’re just taking that from an Irish pub and putting it on a theatre stage. “Who can’t relate to a night out in a pub and the things that go on?”

Irish Celtic plays at The Palms at Crown, Melbourne until August 5 and the Capitol Theatre, Sydney from August 7 to 12. For more information, go to