IN the 25 years since Riverdance first emerged onto the world stage, the show has played 12,160 performances to a live audience of over 28 million people, throughout 47 countries.

The show has also reached a global television audience of over 300 billion people.

UK audiences first welcomed Riverdance in 1995 with ten weeks of sold out shows. The show returns to Mayflower Theatre tonight.

Touring is what the Riverdance cast love and they are of course delighted to be back doing what they do best. The delay due to Covid was, according to lead dancer Bobby Hodges 'confusing and upsetting for all of us. For the Arts world these last 18 months have felt like a loss'.

With the world of entertainment returning to normality, this run of shows becomes not just a celebration of the quarter century milestone but of the art form and perhaps even theatre itself. Emotion and anticipation are high. Bobby, who kept himself sharp during lockdown with boxing, pilates and time in the gym, is clear on how keyed up the cast are, “The minute that the show was forced to close last year we were waiting for this green light. This is unfinished business and we can’t wait!”

Daily Echo:

Lead dancer Amy-Mae Dolan added: We are ecstatic to be back. The rehearsal room feels somehow magical, the show is going to be everything we have wanted for 18 months. It was a dream to be in the show previously, now it’s a dream to be back."

The show is back with a new look and feel.

Riverdance: The New 25th Anniversary Show is a powerful and stirring reinvention of this beloved family favourite. Composer Bill Whelan has rerecorded his mesmerising soundtrack while producer Moya Doherty and director John McColgan have completely reimagined the ground-breaking show with innovative and spectacular lighting, projection, stage and costume designs.

Bobby said: “The whole show is a celebration of Irish music and culture: a true spectacle. It showcases the best of Irish culture but also features a world-class band, Flamenco, Russian dancers and American tappers. With Bill Whelan’s incredible music at its heart, it’s a celebration and a sharing of a world of differing and common histories and experiences."

Limited tickets for the Southampton run, until Saturday, remain at or 023 8071 1811.