Press Review: Diversity – Connected 2022

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ – dazzling and thought-provoking!

Diversity took the nation by storm when they won the third series of Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 and have so far sold out nine UK and Irish tours, sold over 600,000 tickets, with countless television and live performances. 

To take them into the new decade of Diversity,  Ashley  Banjo has created a new show, Connected, which centres around the world of social media, the internet, and the digital era we now live in, but more importantly how this connects us all.

The Bloke was there to see it at The Alexandra Theatre last night, and loved every second!

From the opening piece you could tell that this was not the Diversity from 2009 Britain’s Got Talent, no, this was a far more well-seasoned group of talented dancers and performers who have put years of work and creativity into what turned out to be a show filled with, dance, music, thought provoking messages and humour throughout.

The introduction was on par with many a finale piece and you had to wonder at first where they could go from there, but the energy and the music left you wanting more and with the support of a stunningly visual stage set and the virtuoso skills of guitarist / producer Mafro, the theatre literally rocked as the show began.

The show cleverly interwove dance performances through an overarching message of connectivity through digital media, mobile technology and society. With clearly spoken narrative from Ashley Banjo, drawing the audience in and asking them to sometimes question the negative impacts of a life now controlled by a small device in your hand.

The first half was a non-stop display of intricate timing and a brilliant use of props to backup and enhance each dance number. Referencing the more positive side of social media, such as musical influences via YouTube were imagined through a montage of different artists music, with a memorable Michael Jackson performance and a short comedic piece recalling the comic timing of
Charlie Chaplin, all performed to perfection as you’d expect from such a matured dance group.

The set was most definitely a sight to behold, although simple in shape and design, it turned in to a constantly changing, interactive set of video screens that tied into every moment. My hat goes off to the technical wizards who created this and brought it to life, as it must have taken months of planning and content creation to deliver such a rich multimedia experience. To add to the set, the lighting show was equally as impressive, altering moods and environment in seconds.

The second half started off in a very light-hearted and slightly more sedate way, with a wonderfully charming intro video and a humorous dance piece; followed by a great section of audience participation where Mafro and Ashley got to show their musical talents, helped along with sampled audio from the audience.

We were soon shown the more negative side of social media and its affects on how it drives society, with a moving and powerful performance of the Black Lives Matter piece, performed by Diversity in 2020, which at the time was seen as controversial, but later won them a BAFTA for the performance. The effects on relationships and body positivity were highlighted in a thought-provoking group and solo performance, showing how social media can affect us personally.

I applaud Diversity for covering such subjects in a way that it’s accessible to all ages and without offending anyone in the process, informative but not judgemental.

One of my personal favourites of the second half covered connectivity to the planet, nature and the harm we bring to it, reminiscent of a maypole dance, with complex intertwining ribbons that initially you thought were impossible to untangled, but through the magic of brilliant choreography the dancers, with ease, separated them to end up where they’d first started. Great symbolism.

There were many highlights throughout the show, from magical vanishing dancers in a box to choreographed drones on stage and real rain, to cover everything would take far too long to write about, but one thing is for certain, this feels like Diversity at its very best and each and every one on stage gave it one hundred percent on the night. There wasn’t a single performer on there that didn’t shine in one way or another.

Diversity are as they say, Connected, they are a creative entity and well worth watching. A totally dazzling performance!

Diversity – Connected 2022 will be on stage at The Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 16th April, and will return on 13th and 14th June. Tickets are VERY limited – you can purchase them here!

Image credits – Diversity