A Modern Take on a Traditional Show: Trad on the Prom
Poster: Jamie Costello
Your traditional Irish “diddily aye” show with a few hearty jigs and good old Irish “Paddy Whackery” thrown in for good measure; everything Trad on the Prom is NOT!
I recently attended Trad on the Prom which takes place along the beautiful Salthill Promenade in Galway Bay Hotel. The show celebrates Ireland’s Celtic past with a welcome modern production and feel. This is to put it quite simply, a show with talent coming out of its ears! The experience leaves locals almost smug with pride in our heritage and traditions, and leaves tourists reeling for more with an eagerness to examine that family tree of theirs in search of Irish roots.
Separating the precision-milled Flatley-esque dance routines is an array of emotional musical and lyrical pieces by musicians, humble in their ability. Gerard Fahy is the composing genius behind Michael Flatley’s new London show “Dangerous Games”, fiddle player Máirín Fahy is of The Chieftains fame, and their percussionist sister Yvonne plays a staggering twenty-something instruments! These siblings along with each talented band member in between left the audience in a standing ovation and apparently this is the case every night without fail.
The haunting sounds of the uilleann pipes, has your imagination wandering through the rolling hills of Connemara, and when paired with the fiddle, concertina, and the heartbeat of the traditional Irish bodhran, it takes you on an all inclusive trip around Ireland evoking tears, laughter and a contagious enthusiasm to dance whilst at the same time making you wish your parents made you learn a trad instrument as a child…
That being said, back to the dancing! From previous to current Michael Flatley protégés, Cian Nolan, Cathal Keaney, Colm Conneely and an army of world champion dancers storm the stage, toe tapping and heel clicking faster than I could possibly comprehend. Again, all modest in their achievements such as Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Feet of flames etc, not to mention the six time world champion dancer Claire Greaney, they all clearly enjoy their time on stage which translates to the spectators and is impossibly infectious. Dancers even brave the midst of the audience which gave us a closer look at those infinitesimally precise clicks and taps, needless to say I still couldn’t wrap my head around the speed of those seemingly detachable feet when they were right in front of my eyes.
An unforgettable experience for young and old, Irish or international, it had me glued all night long. Trad on the Prom, now in its eleventh consecutive season retains its position as Ireland’s Number One Music, Song & Dance Experience.