Page 1 of 6
Four star review from The Telegraph
17 November 2012
This venerable skating spectacular is now in it’s 70th year and has been seen by an astonishing 325 million people over the years. Thrillingly, it seems determined to grow old disgracefully.
The title of its latest show, Speed, refers of course to the velocity of the skaters.
But speed is also the street name for amphetamine sulphate, and at its considerable best the show offers a hyper-charged rush of whizzy whooshing pleasure.
The sequins and ostrich feathers of former times have been replaced by much sexier outfits and the music ranges from industrial heavy metal to pumping dance tunes and grinding electric guitars.
This is a leaner, meaner show than any I have seen in more than 30 years of visiting Holiday on Ice, and though part of me misses the extravagant and at times downright stately opulence of old, there is no doubt that this new version packs a thrilling punch.
The number of performers in the chorus may be smaller, but they skate more spectacularly, and the principals are often dazzling.
There are also aerial acrobatics, amazing pyrotechnic effects including setting fire to the ice itself, and motorbikes.
That’s right, motorbikes ridden by stunt-riders and roaring over the treacherously slippery surface of metal-studded tyres hauling a human chain of skaters behind them. One half expects Mark Rylance to pitch up in his unforgettable role of Rooster Byron in Jerusalem to show the daredevil bikers a few new tricks.
But long standing aficionados of Holiday on Ice won’t be disappointed either, though they might consider investing in ear mufflers for this very noisy show. The ice dancing is often superb.
Rohene Ward, a Puerto Rican with a Mohican brings a dazzling skilful insolence to his routines, spinning until he become a blur, spectacularly covering every inch of the rink and on the night that I caught the show at the Westpoint Arena in Exeter, recovering spectacularly from what looked like a nasty fall, barely allowing it to interrupt his performance.
The Japanese skater Lisa Mochizuki brings a genuinely balletic grace and supple subtlety to the ice, pirouetting in the six o’clock position like Darcey Bussell on skates. And there is thrilling pair skating-skating too from the Russians Darya Perminova and Evgeny Belyanin who combine elegance and style with spectacularly dangerous lifts and the thrilling “death spin” in which Perminova is whirled around by her legs with her head just inches above the ice.
If I am as anything like as sprightly as the reinvented Holiday on Ice when I hit 70 I will count myself very lucky indeed.
Holiday on Ice is at the Westpoint Arena, Exeter until Sun, the Brighton Centre Nov 22-25 and the Capital FM Arena, Nottingham on Nov 30
Further info at www.holidayonice.co.uk