A cool piece of theatre

Robin Cousins’ Ice

Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

*****

IT’S a shame that in these days of mass promotion, that the power of adjectives has been reduced to everyday conversation. Even a chocolate bar is claimed to be ` amazing’ or `out of this world ‘once some pretentious advertising company has had its way with a client’s budget.

Robin Cousins new stage production, whilst just called apologetically ICE, is sub strapped with the line `Skating like you have never seen before’ and so it to seems to submit to the need to ramp up our expectations, but at least here it has the potential and performance credentials to warrant a litany of superlatives rather than some tired piece of confectionary.

The fact is we` have’ seen skating like this before but the major difference is it’s live, rather than on TV and it’s in a theatre.  TV somehow reduces action like skating to an observation and what this ICE show does is involve you in the sensory experience of witnessing some amazing athletic skills from a group of internationally acclaimed performers, many who have spent their lifetimes to achieve such a high level of professional ability.

ICE skating has always been exiting because there is a level of danger and the fall potential is high. Therefore just to see first-hand some of the basic spins and jumps takes on a new level of excitement when performed in the confines of a tiny theatre stage compared to the expanse of a rink.

When the action moves up to the complex Bounce spin, this is whereby a man swings his partner by her ankles and her head seems to nearly touch the ice at speed, you  can’t help shifting anxiously in your chair and applauding instantly when she returns safely to her skates and feet.

Besides great skill and choreography there is aerial work above the ice, acrobatic stunts, lifts, jumps, comedy, fantastic  costumes, lighting , effects, excellent music, and even a little physical magic.

The sum total of all of this is a stunning, breath taking and dynamic evening’s entertainment not to be missed and for once those adjectives are well warranted. To 27-04=14

Jeff Grant

And sliding in at the back . . .

****

NOW that’s really cool. Former world champion skater Robin Cousins wanted to sing and dance like Gene Kelly when he was a boy, but he ended up dancing on ice rather than in the rain!

A brilliant career behind him, he is now  using his talents to create spectacular shows and the latest is thrilling Black Country audiences with its speed, skill and glamour.

Cousins directs and choreographs this show which has a team of world class skaters from around the globe performing some amazing routines on the theatre’s stage, transformed into an ice rink.

At times you hold your breath as they leap, spin and race across the ice and when, on opening night, one member of the cast took a little tumble, it only served to underline just how difficult this art can be.

The sheer daring involved at times earns regular bursts of applause as the skaters perform to a soundtrack of original music and reworked classics. One back somersault is particularly risky and impressive, while another highlight sees a male spins with a female spread-eagled balancing on his head, with no holds.

Clever lighting and super costumes add to the enjoyment of a show which runs to 27.04.14

Paul Marston 

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