Imagine the cooler, hotter slightly more enigmatic and kick-ass cousin of Riverdance
– and you’ve just about summed up Emerald Storm
the brilliant new breed of Irish dance show currently touring the UK (coming to Assembly Hall Theatre on Thurs 18 Oct for one night only!).
With all that irresitable foot-stomping energy, but an extra dose of edginess this production provides a fresh take on the Irish Dancing tradition and includes some pretty darn good live musicians from around the world too. Like singer John-Philip Bowen, pictured above, who has performed across the USA from Las Vegas to New York and is currently touring in this Irish dance show with a difference, his first UK theatre tour. And, being a nice chap, he agreed to answer my questions on the show (or because he didn’t know any better).
So what do you ask a handsome, American star of the stage when the musical he’s staring in comes to town? Is dinner on you or me? (I’m joking Mr Muddy, honest). Well here goes it:
Q: Can you sum up in a couple of sentences what Emerald Storm is all about?
An Irish dance sensation with an enchanting tale of magic and mystery through dance, narration and song. It combines traditional Irish and modern popular music with lighting foot-work from past cast members of Riverdance and Spirit Of The Dance. This show brings a contemporary, urban feel to the genre.
Q: Who should go to this show?
This show is for everyone! I mean, c’mon. How good does it sound?!
Q: What inspired you to get into singing?
I’ve always sung my whole life and singing came very natural to me. My first paid job was when I was about 12 when I was asked to sing at a wedding. I was given $60 for it. Insert lightbulb 💡! I knew then, that I could make money out of my voice. I was also involved in theatre productions in school and performances around town which gave me the boost and confidence to enhance my training in musical theatre at university and to make this a lifelong career.
Q: How does Emerald Storm compare to your other work with shows such as Las Vegas?
A show like this could definitely work in Vegas! It’s powerful and sensational in so many ways. Clearly it’s a completely different concept and being apart of this high-energy Irish dance show is truly amazing. It’s got all the elements of a show-stopping theatre show – with imaginative costumes, set and lights. Bringing back this old tradition with a fresh take, is epic.
Q: Rat Pack or Rock ‘n’ Roll?
I would have to say Rat Pack – it’s some of my favourite stuff. I do this also in my solo show.
Q: X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing?
Well as a singer I would have to say X factor.
Q: So… Emerald Storm is set in the Otherworld, in an epic battle between the light and the darkness. So what do you choose between light or darkness?
I would always go with the light. No need for darkness. Although darkness certainly helps for the purpose of the plot!
Q: What will the audience remember the most after the show?
I hope the audience walks away with a new fresh appreciation of Irish dancing. There are some wonderful classic Irish songs and elements involved to, so it respectfully pays tribute to the traditional Irish generation while keeping it alive and creating something for all ages.
Hopefully these amazing dancers and performers can inspire the younger generation to get involved in the arts and also as a whole, inspire more people to continue to go to the theatre, to embrace something new and support your local community and city. Plus, I guarantee you’ll be desperate to get up and dance by the end of the show!
Book tickets here.