Blackpool’s internationally acclaimed Hot Ice again reinvents the boundaries of ice shows.
Elsewhere world class entertainment is on hold until the major casinos arrive but at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Stageworks Worldwide Productions long ago went about creating shows worth more than their weight in tourism gold.
Bringing together 30 skating champions, producer/director Amanda Thompson with choreographer Phil Winston and their backstage team refuse to sit on any previous laurels. Half of this year’s production - Xylotomia - is entirely new while the other half - H2O - has been so drastically reworked that it too is virtually making its debut. Musical director Grahame Maclean has again come up with a score which encompasses world music, hard rock, Celtic folk, Latin American and classical.
No one is introduced by name or ranking - even when the audience is on its feet at the skill and power revealed in the hard to believe manoeuvres demanded of the performers. There is state of the art flying too, incluising ‘skating’ on laser clouds, a mid-air Bluebird ballet and other skilful aerial work.
The cast is a mixture of familiar faces and newer names - Oula Jaaskelainen in his 11th year, Nicky Scott notching up 13, Britain’s most successful female figure skater Joanne Conway back after a six year break from the show and production skating, and Blackpool born Daniel Whiston making a welcome return.
French champion Romain Gazave makes his impressive debut as does former Junior World Champion, Russian Alexey Sokolov.
Full marks too to the wardrobe team for its succession of colourful creations and enough feathers to start a world shortage in another world beater.