Fusing a variety performance with a ceilidh is a premise one would not immediately put together but
Whether an old hand at ceilidhing or first timer, the Ghillie Dhu provides an authentic experience of Scotland’s beloved ceilidhs.
On entering the auditorium one is greeted by a glass of prosecco and plush décor in a tastefully designed ‘dining hall’ style that appears to be from the set of Harry Potter or Game Of Thrones. Once seated, you are treated to variety performances from showgirls, a South African music and dance group, and a drag burlesque performer. Between acts you are served a three course set menu and once the showstopping burlesque ends, tables are cleared to make way for a rip-roaring ceilidh.
Among the glamour of the singers and showgirls, the peak of the evening is a drag burlesque number filled with influences from burlesque stars combining classic moves such as the iconic removal of a glove to more modern gyrating.
The ceilidh itself is charming and, though the space is small, the calling is clear and repeated so as to ensure everyone is comfortable before starting the dances meaning minimal crashes of couples. Whether an old hand at ceilidhing or first timer, the Ghillie Dhu provides an authentic experience of Scotland’s beloved ceilidhs.
However, it was clear that some of the performers were unused to a live audience and there were a few stumbles in the songs and a few jokes that fell on deaf ears. The showgirls danced elegantly but at times they seemed a little lacklustre and without the passion one would usually associate with cabaret performances. The singer from South African music group I Am Rhythm gave a powerful performance, vocally and emotionally, but technical difficulties meant that the dance troupe were unable to perform nor the rest of the acapella group.
Variety and a ceilidh. Not two modes of performance that one would pair and yet, the two, despite the aforementioned setbacks, merge wonderfully into a night of thrills – whether spectating or dancing.