Diversity Connected tour image of the troupe each in separate but connected boxes

Diversity Connected at the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham: Review

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Light, dark, props, music, water, confetti, incredible choreography and a whole heap of raw talent exploded onto the stage at the Alexandra theatre, Birmingham. Diversity are back. Bigger, brighter, louder and stronger than before. And this time, they’ve got a message for us all.

Diversity Connected Tour

About Diversity Connected at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

When covid hit, Ashley Banjo had a brand new baby in the family. Through the Diversity Connected tour, he reflects on the way that technology kept us all connected when we were forced apart. He looks at the wonder of mobile phones. How someone who lived hundreds of years ago wouldn’t have been able to believe the information we now hold in the palm of our hands.

Throughout the performance, the focus is on being connected. Performers join together, using light tubes as props. Dancers fall from the stage into the arms of the rest of the troupe below. The audience are treated to tender moments that Ashley Banjo shared with his mum via video call when she couldn’t visit her newborn grandson. Other family members are invited to the party too. Diversity follow their children’s advice when choosing outfits for the second half. Each of them performs in something rather fabulous if a little different from their usual attire.

Returning to an important message, the second half features the iconic Black Lives Matter routine that Diversity performed on Britain’s Got Talent. It explains the impact the dance had on them as a band and why it meant so much to be awarded the BAFTA for their performance. Ashley Banjo perfectly portrays the way that we can each use our influence for good. In a world where we are constantly warned about the downsides of mobile phone use, Diversity Connected is a breath of fresh air.

Ashley Banjo is the creator, director, choreographer and key performer in the Diversity Connected tour

Diversity Connected at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham: Review

We saw Diversity Connected at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham towards the end of an incredibly busy week. Our energy levels were declining. The children were exhausted. We rushed to the theatre, arriving with minutes to spare and slumped into our seats. The moment Diversity came on stage, our demeanours shifted. I looked across at my seven year old and saw the biggest smile ever. The girls were dancing around in their seats within seconds. Clapping and cheering along with everyone in the theatre.

Over the past twelve months, we have seen a few performances that felt significant. Performers back on stage for the first time since 2019. Musicians finally embarking on delayed tours. We sensed their emotion, even experienced it with them. But this was different. Diversity Connected felt like a big battery charging us all up. They had all the energy in the world, and they were willing to share it with us.

Diversity Connected tour image of the troupe each in separate but connected boxes
Diversity Connected Tour reinforces how we are all connected via our phones

Mobile phones are divisive. They distract us from being in the here and now and lead us off into black holes of mindless scrolling. But Diversity Connected puts a completely different spin on them. We never would have coped with the past two years without our phones. Combatting loneliness for those who lived alone. Keeping families together, even when they were apart. And helping us to reconnect in person when it was safe to do so.

Are we biased in favour of Ashley Banjo since this adorable moment when my youngest sidled over to sit virtually on his lap? Yes we are. Would absolutely anyone enjoy this show regardless of their views on Ashley Banjo and Diversity? Definitely.

Disney On Ice. Birmingham. 3rd September 2017. Ahead of Disney On Ice coming to Birmingham on the 18th October Ashley Banjo hosts a dance workshop as part of the Fit to Dance programme Picture by Simon Hadley. www.simonhadley.co.uk
Picture by Simon Hadley www.simonhadley.co.uk

What you need to know

  • When is the Diversity Connected tour back in Birmingham? Diversity Connected will be back at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th June 2022.
  • How can I get tickets? Head to the ATG tickets website.
  • Where else are Diversity Connected touring? There are lots of tour dates around the UK in the coming months, so head to the Diversity website for more info.
  • How long does the Diversity Connected show last? The show is just under two hours long from start to finish.
  • Is there an interval? Yes, for approximately 25 minutes.

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