herald

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Sure and begorrah, is it not time Flatley hung up his dancing shoes?

Are you right there Michael, are you right? For sure I was speechless when I found out. The Herald rang me with the news and I couldn't believe it at first. Yes we know there is a recession but this was something else.

As I leaned on my shillelagh, I knew a terrible tragedy had been visited on this fair green isle. Michael Flatley's much heralded Lord Of The Dance show for the Cliffs of Moher next month had been postponed.

This 'Edge of the World' outdoor event had been designed in part to help secure the Clare attraction a special world wonder award. This would have ranked it up with the Grand Canyon, the Barrier Reef and other international attractions. Promoters, MPO, say that the concert was a victim of Ireland's "tough economic climate".



miracle

To understand the scale of this tragedy, can you imagine the Sermon on the Mount being postponed due to recessionary conditions? Or, and I mean no disrespect to my fellow Christians, what if the miracle of the loaves and the fishes was held back due to a shortage of sliced pans? Point is it just doesn't happen. No begorrah not with Lord Michael at the helm.

However, his Flatliness is not responsible, according to the promoters MPO.

The planned shows have been the subject of huge publicity with the understated Flatley promising a world-class event. While thousands of tickets had been sold, the two concerts had an overall 10,000 ticket capacity. MPO director Oliver O'Connell said the catastrophe was out of his company's control: "It was not badly planned, we just couldn't get it over the line," he said.

Now MPO Promotions and Clare County Council have been stumped with a loss of a quarter of a million euro. No future dates have been set for new concerts.

Normally anything with the Lord Of The Dance maestro's name on it is a sure thing. Perhaps it is a sign that we really are in a recession. At a special meeting of European Heads of States, Nicolas Sarkozy broke down in tears, saying 'if Mikey has to cancel then for sure we are all doomed. I haven't experienced anything like this since Carla Bruni's CD sales collapsed'.

A distraught Angela Merkel was arrested for doing 'a drunken jig' on a flight from Boon to Shannon. Barack Obama, meanwhile, said 'Is Feidir Linn' when asked about the event. But he refused to say whether the US would intervene directly and help stage the event.

Did anyone in Clare County Council or in the promoters team ever consider that the little people just might not have the dosh to fork out for this extravaganza?

Also, let's be honest, it was a great show when it came out with Ronan Hardiman's brilliant music being a focal point. But is it not nearing its sell-by date? Heaven forbid, and I will face eternal damnation for saying this, but is Flatley himself not due a reincarnation?

Maybe, just maybe, in the middle of a real recession the little people were not attracted in sufficient numbers to purchase tickets?

Why, we ask ourselves, did Clare County Council get in on this lark? A chat with any of the major concert promoters in this country would have told them that it is very hard to sell any gig these days. If you are going to try it you need to bring in the big boys who have expertise in these type of events.



blessed

Where does this leave Flatley? To be sure to be sure he will carry on regardless blessed as he is with a strong ego. Perhaps future plans might include the first staging of Lord Of The Dance on the planet Mars? Maybe some ambitious county council can get in on this one.

Or maybe someone might have the temerity to have a little chat with Flatley. That person might gently tell him that time is up on this one. All the greats have to know when to step down and there is no shame in that.

His genius input into Riverdance has been acknowledged. But the Celtic Tiger is dead and gone and Flatley needs to come up with something very different.

As we look at the embers of this ambitious dream, it sure is a long, long way from Clare to here.

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