Review: Dirty Dancing at Bristol Hippodrome

Reviews, Theatre

Dirty Dancing has always been one of my favourite films. Set in the 60s and made in the 80s? That’s a recipe for success. To my great delight, I was offered tickets to see the fabulous new stage production at the Bristol Hippodrome. After first visiting a Caribbean restaurant and dosing my boyfriend up on rum-based cocktails I managed to drag him into the theatre, and we sat down in an audience made up of around 97% women. I gazed sympathetically at the bald little heads of husbands and fathers who had been pressured into such a glamorously pink affair. Such sympathy was soon forgotten, however, as my vision became flooded with fabulous fabulous fabulous dancing.

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If you like the film and you don’t like change, this show is perfect. It manages to stay true to the original whilst providing an extra injection of funky dancing. Johnny Castle was played by Lewis Kirk (above), and although at first I was reluctant to be seduced by anyone other than Patrick, I eventually fell in love with him. Especially when he was dancing. Oh my, he can dance.

Baby was played by Roseanna Frascona, and she played it fabulously. I thought her on-stage relationship with her father was very convincing and her dancing was also superb, although not so superb that it was unbelievable. After all, she only learns how to dance in one week. She isn’t going to dance like Penny (played by Claire Rogers, above), who was simply mesmerising. Strangely enough, having watched myriads of dancers flashing their lovely legs all over the stage, I felt the sudden urge to visit the gym the next day.. Squats galore.

Lovely legs aside, the show also provided some excellent musical numbers and plenty of crooning. Wayne Smith’s solos were particularly atmospheric and really mellowed the show out during a couple of intimate moments. The crowd was rather rowdy, and we all died when Johnny came down the aisle, jumped on the stage and delivered that super line: ‘Nobody puts Baby in a corner’. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a little frightened by the crowd of hooting females jeering and cheering, but it was jolly fun.

If you love singing, dancing, pink lights, jazzy tunes and pretty people, Dirty Dancing is playing at the Bristol Hippodrome until 5th April 2014.

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