Review - Hot Ice: Rapture, Pleasure Beach Arena, Blackpool

Hot Ice: Rapture, Pleasure Beach Arena, Blackpool

Hot Ice: Rapture, Pleasure Beach Arena, Blackpool - Credit:

A show for all the senses is set to delight audiences through the summer season at Blackpool

Within seconds of ‘curtain up’ a trail of flame licks across the ice, an effect that sums up not just the title, but the overall effect of nearly two hours of high-speed, lavish and daringly-dangerous entertainment.

There’s been a chilled-out summer season show here for 86 years now and even conflict, or contagion, have barely been able to interrupt its history. It’s as much a part of Blackpool’s unique attractions as any other element of the resort’s Golden Mile.

It also manages to conjure up something different each year – this time out a giant cast of 30 performers, that often seems to double in size thanks to the choreography of Oula Jaaskelainen and quick-change costume moves from producer and director  Amanda Thompson. There are moments when you marvel at the sheer traffic-management of it all . . .

The dizzying effect is breath-stopping and heart-taking - you choose which way round.

From an opening spot of Shakespeare-on-ice, for a Romeo & Juliet routine, all the way through to a disco-charged Utopian sequence, which proves to be a real showstopper. In between there are showcase moments for each member of the trans-continental cast, who earn rock star credentials with whoops of joy from an encouragingly-young audience.

The performers’ spins, twists and jumps always come in nothing less than triplicate while even their occasional spills are served with grace.

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A Swan Lake finale to Act One borrows from Mathew Bourne’s interpretation but stamps its own style with a pleasing change of tempo.

The cast are athletes who have earned their accolades and medals across the world but now concentrate all that talent into sequinned and be-feathered showbusiness.

The barely-there costumes are a testament to the internationally-recognised skills of the amusement park’s in-house Stageworks wardrobe department.

Along with the work of lighting designer Jack Norman, let alone the elemental effects of snow, water, fire (and bubbles!) this is a show for all the senses.

It runs until September 10, excluding Sundays, but with some matinees.