REVIEW: Inala – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Inala, the fusion of four-time, Grammy Award-winning, South African choral superstars Ladysmith Black Mambazo and current and former dancers from the Royal Ballet and Rambert returns to Scotland a year after its critically acclaimed debut at the Edinburgh International Festival.
Eschewing a linear narrative, it aims to evoke the spirit of South Africa, giving the audience tantalising glimpses into life in this vast country by marrying Western classical ballet and contemporary dance with traditional African rhythms and movement.
Uniting these seemingly disparate disciplines is a tall order but the creative team have produced an uplifting and enriching evening which showcases the best of both worlds: the classic dancers absorbing the earthiness of Africa, the singers introducing choreographed movement to their hypnotic music.
Both the singing and dancing is of exceptional quality, lulling you in and keeping you transfixed throughout. However, in a beautiful evening of multiple highs there are a few gripes, the set is minimalistic, comprising unimaginative back wall projections and a few crates, and the lighting is quite frankly dull, both literally and metaphorically. With the rich tapestry of Africa as its inspiration it could have been so much more. That said, the quality of the rest of the evening is such that it renders any gripes unimportant.
This is an inspiring, uplifting and utterly mesmerising evening at the theatre – unmissable.
Reviewed on 16 July 2015