If ever a show illustrated that prodigious talent alone is not enough to create a top class show, this is it. The dancers performing in Flash Mob have been weeded out from thousands of wannabes all auditioning and competing on TV shows such as Got to Dance, So You Think You Can Dance, Street Dance 2. They're good, some are indeed exceptional; the show, however, is something of a disappointment.
Here's how it works: a dancer walks onto the stage, performs a 4-minute set, is then replaced by perhaps a group or a couple who then perform another set who in turn are instantly replaced by another dancer. This continues until all the dancers have performed and then the rotation begins again, though perhaps not in the same order.
Some of the segues are jarring, going from some high energy piece to a slow sequence, hip hop to a dissembling romance. The idea apparently was to allow the dancers a free hand, rather than confine them within the context of a show; it doesn't work.
At mid-point there is an interaction between some of the male dancers, and things start to improve, but then quickly fall back into the ponderous routine established after the show's opening. Does the audience need a narrative arc? Does there need to be a story to follow or some semblance of considered sequencing? No, not if you're a fan of the dancers or the TV shows and much of the audience clearly is.
However, this is the Fringe where you are competing against some of the most creative and artistic minds on the planet. Plonking some amazing dancers on a stage and then just getting them to perform in rotation is not going to get you full houses or indeed develop an audience base. Fire and flames are not enough: the crucible that holds that fire must itself be beautiful and challenging.
The design of this show and the thought put into framing the talents that are present here can be described in one word: lazy. Alternatively, you might call it cynical. These dancers deserve better; they don't get it. It gets 3 stars because of the failure of the show's design which sadly dampens the powerful performances that take place.
Show Dates: 02 – 27 August. Previews 2 & 3 August. No show Tue 14 August.
Ticket Prices: Previews £10; 4-7, 10-12, 17-19 August £17.50 (15.50); 8-9, 13, 15-16, 20-23, 27 August £14.50 (£12)