Feast your eyes on an Irish jig at Playhouse

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THERE was a time when the essence of Ireland was best summed up with words like shamrock, green or maybe even Guinness.

Then came the love affair with Irish dance. Riverdance started it, then Lord Of The Dance tapped its way on to stages around the world, followed quickly by Spirit Of The Dance.

All have visited the Playhouse many times over the years.

Next week, it’s the turn of a new celebration of Celtic dance to pack them in at the Greenside Place theatre – and it has an appropriate title.

Essence Of Ireland tells the story of Sean Dempsey and Coro McGowen. The couple meet in 1940s Ireland but are soon forced apart when Sean has to move to New York to find work.

The show brings to life the letters exchanged between the two during their separation.

Combining breathtaking dance routines with the best of Irish music and a touch of the famous craic, the heart-warming story will be performed by a cast of some of the country’s finest dancers, singers and musicians.

Featuring songs such as Galway Girl, Carrickfergus, You Raise Me Up and Song For Ireland, the energetic dances capture the flavours of other styles as well traditional stepdancing, including salsa and country.

So, if you fancy discovering the music and dance of the Emerald Isle, the Playhouse is the place to be on Tuesday.

Essence of Ireland, Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, Tuesday, 7.30pm, £25.50, 0844-871 3014

LIAM RUDDEN