Theatre

Dirty Dancing at the Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury Review

25-30 March 2019

Reviewed by Louise Styles

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is currently running at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury until Saturday 30th March. If you are a fan of the 1987 film, then you MUST go to see this show. It has everything you need for the perfect girls night out… songs everyone in the audience can sing a long with and some originality which keeps the whole performance exciting and engaging.

I’ve seen this show a good few times… I love it! This trip was perfect because it was so close to home and this leg of the tour manages to cover everything from the film as well as adding in some original elements which add some continuation to some characters stories. Widening some of the characters narrative really strengthens the story as a whole; we learn a little more about Marge, both her compassion and her drive. Neil; his struggle between freedom riding and doing his duty to name just a couple. Overall though I found this performance to be more humorous than any previous visits. I certainly laughed along with my fellow audience members but did wonder if the injected humour was needed. 

The Houseman’s travel to the Catskill Mountain resort of Kellermans for their summer break during 1963 and while the rest of the family partake in the activities and sports on offer ‘Baby’ discovers a world of dance not suited to the family dance floor. Her blossoming romance with Johnny is the ultimate love story – good girl falls for bad boy.

Baby Houseman is played by Kira Malou and Johnny Castle by Michael O’Reilly. Whilst Kira has some theatre experience under her belt it is Michael’s professional debut on this tour. Both Kira and Michael portray their characters well, Kira shows the awkwardness and naivety of Baby and Michael the coolness and aloof nature of Johnny. Plus, ladies, we get to see a fair bit of Michael during the opening of Act 2 – Enjoy! Simone Covele also deserves a big well done as Penny Johnson, as do all of the other 24 cast members. Their dancing, singing and energy gives this show the feel-good vibe that is infectious to the watching audience.

One of the things I loved the most about this show was the quick paced movement of the sets. Very cleverly the main on-stage piece was able to rotate to set scenes for the clubhouse, restaurant, kitchens, exterior and as a back drop for the staff dance club. In addition, there were two side pieces which were integral to the original story too. These sets meant that the actors were never confined to just the main front of stage – they utilised the doors and steps perfectly to add flow to each scene.  

Dirty Dancing will always be my favourite film – it’s also my favourite stage show too! Even if you’ve seen it before you should go again, it’s fun, enthralling and a brilliant night out.

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £21.90 to £68.90 (plus £3.65 transaction fee).

Dirty Dancing is at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury from 25-30 March 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury or call the box office on 0844 871 7607.

Waterside Theatre, Exchange Street, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 1UG | 0844 871 7607

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