What's On

Your guide to everything in North East

Diversity to kick off new tour in Newcastle

On stage you might not be able to tell one Diversity member from another. Despite the name, it's the uniformity of looks and moves that underpin the dance troupe's appeal

Diversity are kicking off their UK tour in Newcastle
Diversity are kicking off their UK tour in Newcastle

On stage you might not be able to tell one Diversity member from another. Despite the name, it’s the uniformity of looks and moves that underpin the dance troupe’s appeal.

Without co-ordination they’d be a heap of writhing bodies on the floor.

But one member has always stood out. Perri Luc Kiely may be one of the youngest and smallest but his hair is in the big league – and in the early days his was the body most frequently flying through the air.

Diversity are kicking off a new arena tour in Newcastle on December 3 and it falls to Perri to tell The Journal all about it.

“It’s called Limitless and it’s the final chapter in a trilogy,” says Perri who goes on to explain that the previous two shows – Bringing a Toy Story to Life and Digitized: Trapped in the Game – have seen the lads as ‘diversitoys’.

They come alive in a toy shop, they dance and they have to retrieve some stolen plans. Then, in the second show, they get stuck in a computer game and have to crack codes to get out.

Now, they’ve escaped and... “It’s going to be pretty epic,” promises Perri.

Diversity took the nation by storm in 2009 when they won Britain’s Got Talent, having the audacity to beat Susan Boyle who had become a YouTube sensation.

Perri remembers it well. “It was crazy. We really wanted to get in the last three but we never in a million years thought we’d win the show.

“We were expecting them to shout ‘Susan Boyle’ but when they shouted ‘Diversity’... well, my mind went blank. It was a crazy moment.”

Perri is an example of someone who has lived his dream. As a very little kid, he says, he didn’t really have any clear-cut ambitions. “Didn’t have a clue. I was like most other kids. I could have become a doctor or a bus driver.”

But then he went to a dance studio and saw Ashley Banjo and the rest of the Diversity crew in action.

“I was a hardcore Diversity fan before I joined them. I used to follow them and watch them and then, when they saw me dance, they let me join the crew.”

He was still at school when Diversity won the ITV talent show and he went back there afterwards, being hailed as an excellent role model by his headteacher.

Now 17 - he’ll be 18 in December - he has now left school and is a fully-fledged and extremely busy member of Diversity.

“I have grown but I’m still getting thrown about a lot,” he reveals.

“The others have got a lot stronger.”

Is he happy with his surprise career? “Loving it. It’s non-stop and we’re all over the place but it’s really cool and wicked.”

He reveals that the eight-strong troupe, down from an original 11, are “like a massive family. We are together every single day, whether it’s training or just going to the cinema. We’re all best friends really.”

Back in his proper home, Perri has his proud mum and dad to take care of him and two young sisters, Starr, who’s 15, and Elvie, 12, to look up to him.

They’re dancers, too, he says, and train at the same studio.

In Britain Diversity have proved they’ve got talent on stage and screen.

And America? “We’d like to go,” says Perri. “It is an ambition but we’ve got some more things to do here.”

The lads have been rehearsing for Limitless since the last tour ended, he says. Come December 3, they’ll be more than ready. The big hair will be flying again.

Tickets for the show at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena are on sale now. Tel. 0844 4936666.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer