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In Riverdance's footsteps new Irish dance show comes to the Sage Gateshead

A new Irish dance show called Murphy's Legacy is to have its world premiere at Sage Gateshead in January

Mark Pinder Dancers rehearsing for Murphy's Legacy. Sophia Atkins and Zak Klingenberg represent evil while Sinead Fallon and Chris Hannon represent good
Dancers rehearsing for Murphy's Legacy. Sophia Atkins and Zak Klingenberg represent evil while Sinead Fallon and Chris Hannon represent good

The sound typically associated with Irish dancing is the traditional music of jaunty fiddles.

But age old traditions will be given a fresh twist in a new Irish dancing show, Murphy’s Legacy, which is being scored by top North East DJs.

These two worlds will converge in the show which will star Chris Hannon, lead dancer in the renowned Lord of the Dance for 13 years.

Chris joined that famous show when he was only 16 and worked alongside its creator, Michael Flatley, on its world tour, but he always wanted to choreograph a show himself.

Now Chris, 32, has created Murphy’s Law and DJs John Elliott and Andrew Archer, from Newcastle-based recording company Loft Music, have composed original music for the show.

This came after Chris had a chance meeting with John and the pair decided to bring their talents together in the shared project.

The studio already has excellent experience of creating soundtracks, having previously composed music for global brands such as Disney, the BBC and 20th Century Fox, to name just three.

John, whose own grandmother is Irish, said: “There is a specific kind of magic living inside Irish music, both light and dark.

“I’m trying to harness that and then shake it up a little.”

Business partner Andrew said although the show will feature traditional instruments such as the fiddle, accordion and guitar, the music will also include modern electric pieces.

For 20 years, shows like Riverdance and Lord of the Dance brought Irish dancing into the mainstream.

However, the team behind the new show believes there is now a gap in the market and a new demand for Irish dancing.

 

Chris said: “It has always been my ambition to create a show that would be popular for both young and old.

“The traditional model needs updating without going too far from its core values. This is where I believe our show comes in.

“There is a hunger from the general public for innovative dance shows. Murphy’s Legacy will hopefully be a breath of fresh air.”

Chris, from Newcastle, began dancing aged eight, the third generation Irish dancer in the family, taking after his mother Kathleen Hannon and grandmother Patricia Livingstone.

Patricia, in particular, was a huge influence on Murphy’s Legacy, as one of the first people to bring Irish dancing to the North East, as well as dance teacher Kathleen, who has spent more than 30 years in the Irish dance business.

Together Kathleen and Chris run the internationally recognised Hannon Murphy Irish Dancing School in Newcastle, founded by Patricia who passed away last year.

Chris set up pilot runs of Murphy’s Legacy with his dance students last year in remembrance of his grandmother and decided to run the show professionally when these proved such a success.

The story is set in Ireland and features the Murphys who are forced to go in search of a new home after years of clan fighting. It focuses on the themes of family and sacrifice.

International stars including US-based dance icon Zach Klingenberg, former fellow Lord of the Dance lead Katrina Hesketh and world dance champion Kaila-Lee McManus will also perform in the show.

Murphy’s Legacy will premiere at The Sage Gateshead on January 31 after which the team hope to take the show on tour around the UK and overseas.

Buy tickets from Sage Gateshead booking office on 0191 443 4661 or online at http://tickets.sagegateshead.com . More information on the show can be found at www.murphyslegacy.co.uk .

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