IT WAS my impromptu skip up the stairs during the interval that gave the game away. I was enjoying an Irish dancing show.

I admit, I was a bit sceptical about taking in a performance of Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford.

But I need not have worried. It was fascinating, entertaining and well worth a couple of hours of my time.

The classic good-versus-evil tale - choreographed and directed by Michael Flatley - is told through the dreams of the Little Spirit, as the Lord of the Dance fights against The Dark Lord and his Dark Disciples.

The unbelievably fast-paced dancing - led by Lord of the Dance James Keegan and Dark Lord Tom Cunningham - is at times almost hypnotising. It is impossible not to be impressed by the quick feet and precision rhythm of the 40-strong cast - including the incredibly bendy Jess Judge as Little Spirit.

From the moment the show starts with Flatley and his son Michael St James Flatley speeding up a ticking clock - on a large video screen, not in person - the performance is an exciting mixture of whirlwind footwork, sublime acrobatics, bright colours, singing interludes from Sophie Evans, upbeat fiddlers Giada Costenaro Cunningham and Nicole Lonergan, and calmer, more serene dancing moments from the female cast members.

The action really picks up, with a darker feeling, in the second half - after my interval stairway jig - as it begins with a moody, intense dance by a group of green robots with bright, piercing red eyes.

It continues through a series of high energy dance routines - any of which could have easily been a showstopping finale.

Flatley makes a super-charged, toe-tapping reappearance towards the end - again on the big screen - as three versions of him highlight the talent of the man who started Lord of the Dance 20 years ago.

All that was left was a final performance from the entire cast, to a foot-tapping, hand-clapping, richly-deserved standing ovation.

And this sceptic is still tapping his foot and whistling the tunes.

The 20th anniversary show is on at the Alhambra tonight, tomorrow and Saturday at 8pm, Saturday at 2.30pm, and Sunday at 7.30pm. Tickets are available at