Diversity Connected 2022 Review

New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham – 14th April 2022

Reviewed by Emma Millward


It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 years since Diversity burst onto the scene and caught the Nation’s attention as winners of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. The audience’s anticipation to see them was evident as soon as the auditorium lights went down.  

The theme of ‘Connected’ is how the internet and especially social media brings all our lives together and how it’s transformed the way we live, love and work. I will admit I came to the show expecting a mostly Hip Hop dance show as we have seen from the dance troupe on multiple TV appearances. I was however pleasantly surprised to find that Ashley Banjo, their charismatic leader, director and choreographer, had put together much more than that, it was more like an old style variety show. It bought together many different styles of music, dancing and even a silent comedy style slapstick dance from three of the dancers at one point. 

The backdrop of the stage was dark and quite stark at first. Then the show started, and the lights and big screens burst with colour and images appeared making it felt like an immersive experience. The big screen backdrop was then used to full effect throughout the show.  It showed snippets of YouTube videos, how internet shopping has revolutionised our lives and made it easier for us to get what we want, and when we want it. Soon the screens were showing us just how much the whole world was changed by Covid-19 and the lockdowns that came with it. Banjo’s baby boy Micah was born during the lockdown, he showed us touching video footage of ‘Zoom’ calls to his parents to show them their new Grandchild. 

Diversity wouldn’t be Diversity without the dancing though, and they delivered on that. 

They took in a range of musical styles, Rock, R&B, Pop. There was a tribute to Michael Jackson thrown into the mix. Along the way Sisqo’s ‘Thong Song’ was included and even a shirt ripping, muscles rippling dancing in the ‘rain’ to end the first half. Which seemed to be greatly appreciated by the screaming crowd, who at times were so whipped up into a frenzy it felt like we were at a rock concert. 

Then came probably their most famous, and for some their most controversial moment. 

The Black Lives Matter routine that won them a BAFTA for the ‘Must See Moment’. This was discussed and the routine was performed to deafening cheers and applause. 

The show closed on a quieter note. Ashley Banjo dancing solo with drones circling round him lighting up the air above him, while images of the Universe flashed behind him on the big screens. It was a peaceful and mesmerising finish to what was a lively, frenetic and at times a thought provoking show. 

I really enjoyed the show and I would definitely recommend people go to see it if they get the chance when Diversity return to the Alexandra Theatre on the 13th-14th June.