Dirty Dancing at the Cliffs Pavilion Southend Review

29 October to 3 November 2018


Reviewed by Amanda Gazzard

I’ve had the time of my life! This is a classic love story which has stood the test of time.

The scene is set in the Catskill Mountains of New York in the summer of 1963 where Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman (Kira Malou), a 17 year old young lady goes on holiday with her parents Marjorie Houseman (Lori Haley Fox), Dr Jake Houseman (Lynden Edwards) and older sister Lisa Houseman (Lizzie Ottley). Baby is about to learn a new way of dancing which in the 1960’s is seen to be very erotic compared to the tango and waltz. Along the way Baby falls in love with the man of her dreams Johnny Castle (Michael O’Reilly), the dance teacher for the resort.

Baby has little interest in the activities the resort has to offer and accidently comes across a party in the staff quarters. Baby is captivated by the dirty dance moves and the music which she has not heard before. This is where her heart skips a beat especially when she sees Johnny.

Baby’s life is turned upside down and sideways when she ends up becoming Johnny’s leading lady on stage and his lover off of the stage. With rules being defied, heartbreak and a magnificent ending you will be left wanting more.

From the unforgettable hit songs including Hungry Eyes, Do You Love Me, and the heart-stopping (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life you will be toe tapping along with the rest of the audience.

The only negative criticism I found was throughout all of the stage changes you could visibly see the stage hands who were trying their best to stay hidden which just made it laughable at certain points. The stage changes often felt rushed and at times too quick as even the cast struggled to get back on the set in time.

This production was energetic and exhilarating… Oh, what a night!!!

Rating: 4/5

Tickets cost from £33 to £59 (booking fees may apply).

Dirty Dancing is at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend from 29 October to 3 November 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit southendtheatres.org.uk or call the box office on 01702 351135.

Parking restrictions are now in place around the Cliffs Pavilion due to residents parking. The easiest place to park for free after 6pm is the sea front. It’s only a short walk up the steps to the theatre.

The theatre has a varied range of confectionary and beverages to purchase before, during and following the performance.

Cliffs Pavilion, Station Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 7RA | 01702 351135


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