Director: Amanda Thompson OBE
After more than a year out, one thing is for certain – performers of Hot Ice Euphoria do not have cold feet. They are on fire, back with an abundance of energy and ready to put on a resort show to remember.
Having been around in evolving forms for 85 years, this is a performance that is truly part of Blackpool’s bread and butter. Boasting a cast of world championship performers and produced and directed by Amanda Thompson OBE, this is a fast-moving and frivolous production that certainly keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The eclectic nature of the show often gives Eurovision vibes. Where else can you see a Romeo and Juliet inspired routine, aerial gymnastics performed from a bath, Swan Lake but not as a ballet, a roaring 20s dance and a disco with Rubik’s cube lighting all in one night? It is random and at times repetitive, but it’s fun and the talent on the ice cannot be denied.
Where the production really leaves a lasting impression is with the extravagant and captivating group numbers. Where there’s trickery, jaw-dropping lifts, partnerships, formations, fast movements and pyrotechnics, it’s at its best and it’s where the performers appear at their most natural and confident. Where there’s dancing, it’s at its most cheesy, with this pat of Oula Jaaskelainen’s choreography remaining simplistic and out of some of the cast member’s comfort zones.
At times, it feels like some of the routines could be reduced, with back-to-back solos and very similar movements making the show lose its momentum. And while the 400+ costumes created by the Stageworks Worldwide Productions’ wardrobe team and the lighting rig have the wow factor and add to the spectacle of the whole piece, it does feel like more can be done with the big screen feature at the top of the rink. It’s a great piece of technology and one that with the right graphics could add another dimension to the overall show, but currently images used look like laptop screensavers and juxtapose with the phenomenon of the rest of the production.
It’s random, it’s fun, and while not perfection, it’s fabulous to see audiences back cheering together again and performers doing what they do best. Hot on the heels of a horrendous year, this is light and enjoyable entertainment that makes you feel elated to finally be ‘out out’ again.
Runs until 11 September 2021