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Diversity

theatre

Founded by choreographer Ashley Banjo and his younger brother Jordan in 2007, London-based street dance crew Diversity rose to fame in 2009 when they won the third series of Britain’s Got Talent.

Specialising in everything from popping and breakdance to acrobatics, the troupe were a very diverse group of people who not only ranged in age between 12 and 25 years old, but also in everything from educational pursuits to race and height, so the name Diversity was a natural fit.

 

Our review on Diversity

Diversity - Opera House, Manchester - Thursday 5th May 2022 by Abigail Holden

Our Rating

Having seen the talent of Diversity 13 years ago, when they first appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, I knew that they were going to be phenomenal. I was extremely excited to see these amazing dancers that had inspired me, in the flesh, and I was not disappointed for one second.

The show, created by Diversity leader himself, Ashley Banjo, focused on technology and its power to connect us (hence the tour name - Connected). It showed the highs and lows of the use of technology, highlighting how much we have needed it, in these past few years, to how our focus on technology can sometimes hinder us when it comes to keeping the world around us safe. With the appearance of a special artificial intelligence ANI (which stood for Another Name Instead - very clever on Banjo’s part, due to not being able to use the names of big companies), we were taken on a journey, through dance, that made us laugh, cry and squeal in delight. The dancers included, Ashley Banjo, Jordan Banjo, Warren Russell, Perri Kelly, Nathan Ramsey, Sam Craske, Mitchell Craske, Adam McKop, Georgia Lewis, Starr Kiely, Jordan Samuel, Shante Samuel, Theo McKenzie-Hayton, Curtis Butler and Morgan Plom, with the addition of guitarist and music producer, Mafro.

 

 

In the first half, fan-favourite Perri Kelly, was dressed up to look like a Georgian, and was brought forwards in time, from two-hundred years ago, and introduced to the use of the internet through a mobile phone. It was hilarious. The grey wig sat on top of his head precariously, but you could see that every single member of the team was enjoying themselves the whole time. Another highlight of the first half was the end of the first act, in which the male members of the cast danced under pouring water, which led to them taking off their soaking tops and dancing shirtless! There was a lot of excitement bubbling through the audience, as I am sure you can imagine.

The set was minimal but most certainly effective, with a platform that lit up, towards the back of the stage. Parts of the set pulled out, letting dancers enter the stage from the back freely, and the tube lights that were on the platform were detachable and used as props in many of the dances! One of the best dances for props, was the opening of the second half, inspired by what kids had told Diversity to do, where they had blow up microphones, huge teddy bears, hula hoops, and even a hoverboard (which Perri did a handstand on, across the front of the stage!)

 

 

In the second half of the show, we were treated to the famous BGT dance that won the team a BAFTA… It was incredible to see live and a lot of the audience were on their feet by the end of the dance. The meaning behind it shone through and it was beautiful to see the love and support in the room. A special treat, that also occurs in the second half of the show, is the creation of a song, with audience participation and Jordan Banjo dressed up as Banjo Bear, as he goes around the audience to pick someone. It was extremely fun to see the way that Ashley creates the music for the show (which he does himself) and to be a part of a track that we were then invited to download after the show! Also, the dancers were then invited to dance to the new track, and my personal favourite dancer for the evening, Nathan Ramsey, has the best twerk I have ever seen!

This show is phenomenal and can be anything from a family’s first trip to the theatre, to a fan night out, to a date night. There is something for everyone within this show and it really makes you think about technology, as well as being entertaining. It is a must-see!


WE SCORE DIVERSITY - 10/10

 

 

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