12-28 June 2014
Reviewed by Karen Bleakley
Dirty Dancing had a lot to live up to. Unlike other musicals such as Chicago and Les Miserables, the movie came out before the theatre production and everybody knows a cover is never as good as the original. As a huge fan of the iconic film, it was going to take something special to impress me. Also, it was a night out to celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary which made the occasion all the more important.
I wasn’t disappointed. The fast-paced production had amazing choreography, great vocals and an incredible high energy atmosphere. The crowd were captivated and entertained for the entire duration. Gareth Bailey and Roseanna Frascona were fabulous as Johnny Castle and Baby and they had a real chemistry between them that was as intense as the Swayze/Grey relationship in the film.
The audience reacted fantastically to the songs we all know and love. It’s not often you get to be a room full of people who are so engrossed, and the smiles and excitement from everyone was infectious. By the end of the show everyone was clapping along and it felt like we were in the audience at Kellermans watching the finale for real.
The Mayflower is an independent theatre in Southampton. It’s large enough to attract the touring West End shows, yet the performances still feel intimate. It has been beautifully restored, and is run by a charitable trust where the surpluses are put back into maintaining the venue. The seats are comfortable and roomy enough, and the seats in the dress circle where we sat were steeply tiered so you could easily see over the people’s heads in front of you.
For a treat, you can book a meal and ticket package where you dine in their on-site restaurant.
The Mayflower is centrally located in the city, meaning it is in walking distance of the trains and buses, or there are a number of car parks close by. We got there early to eat in a nearby restaurant and were able to park just a few metres from the entrance.
I had one of the best nights in a long time at Dirty Dancing. The production and the venue were both outstanding and I’m looking forward to coming back to see another show soon.
Tickets cost from £19.50 to £48.50 (plus 7.5% booking fee).
Dirty Dancing is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton until 28 June 2014. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on on 02380 711811.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811