World famous basketball trickesters The Harlem Globetrotters dribbled their way into Newcastle and showed everyone there, why they have lasted 85 years in the entertainment industry.
Full crowd participation was expected from the off, and due to their gleeful persistence, the crowd was soon warmed to the whooping, jeering and cheers which American crowds find so easy to do. The show was set around a full game of basketball between the Harlem Globetrotters and The Washington Generals. Some of the acrobatic skills and precision passing which were on display defied belief. Spectacular slam-dunks, unbelievable finger spins and over the shoulder shots were aplenty in an epic showing from the basketball world’s greatest show-offs.
Short entertaining episodes punctuated the main action, and kept the crowd, young and old, entertained. Such as the playful banter between two of the players chasings each other with buckets of water around the arena, and a very young boy being chosen from the crowd to perform an assisted slam-dunk, winning himself a signed jersey and a lifelong memory.
From the same team which brought the basketball world the slam-dunk and the alley-oop, was the introduction of the four point box, which came into play during certain parts of the game. This allowed for some spectacular long range efforts, which more often than not, swished into the basket followed by an audience wide cheer.
In fact the whole production was filled with quality from top to bottom. The corrupt referee fit the bill perfectly and The Washington Generals coach who was set up as the pantomime villain was roundly booed by the entire arena whenever he had the audacity to stand up. Harlem Globetrotter players The Big Easy and Cheese were the stand out characters of the night. Larger than life, and just as silly, they had me giggling like a child throughout the whole show, with the sort of slapstick humour which appeals to all ages.