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Dirty Dancing @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Published by: Yvonne Delahaye on 20th Sep 2016 | View all blogs by Yvonne Delahaye

Dirty Dancing Tickets at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Who’d have thought that a low budget film, made in 1987 by a new studio that struggled to get the funding, would have turned into one of the most popular films of all time, becoming the first film to sell over a million copies on home video?  It made its leading actors, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, into stars overnight and Patrick, in particular, will always be remembered for creating such an iconic role.  Tragically, he died in 2009 of pancreatic cancer but his work will never be forgotten and new audiences will have the opportunity to watch the film for years to come.

How could this classic film be successfully turned into a stage show you wonder? Full of passion and romance, heart-pounding music and sensationally sexy dancing, the record-breaking show has been reconceived in an all new production created by an innovative new creative team; directed by Federico Bellone, choreographed by Gillian Bruce and with design re-imagined by top Italian set designer Roberto Comotti. The production premiered in Milan in July 2015, subsequently packing out the 15,000 seat Roman Arena in Verona, and then played a season in Rome. Dirty Dancing –The Classic Story On Stage originally opened at London’s Aldwych Theatre in 2006 with a record-breaking advance of £15 million, making it the fastest ever selling show in West End theatre history. The production became the longest running show in the history of the Aldwych Theatre and played to over 2 million people during its triumphant 5 year run.

It’s the summer of 1963, and 17 year- old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is about to learn some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing. On holiday in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, she shows little interest in the resort activities, and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles across an all-night dance party at the staff quarters. Mesmerised by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle the resort dance instructor. Her life is about to change forever as she is thrown in at the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady both on-stage and off, and two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives.

The show works wonderfully and recreates all the memorable scenes, including the dance practice in the water and on a log, with some very clever set designs by Andrea Comotti, Wellington Scenic and Henry Thomas.

Lewis Griffiths has very big shoes to fill to make the role of Johnny Castle his own, but with his incredible torso, snake-like hips and sublime dance moves, we gradually get drawn into his performance.  Katie Hartland does a splendid job of playing Baby Houseman, as she makes her professional debut since graduating from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama in 2015.  It’s not easy to pretend to be stiff and uncoordinated when you’re actually a trained dancer, but she’s very believable in the role.  Carlie Milner as Penny Johnson is a joy to watch, with incredibly toned muscles and long legs and the dance routines with Penny and Johnny are magnificent.

If you loved the film (and let’s face it most of us do), this show is an absolute must to go and see.  The audience whooped in the final scenes, when we heard the iconic line ‘nobody puts baby in the corner’ and watched enthralled as they performed probably the most copied dance routine of all time.

You really will have ‘the time of your life’ watching this show and the good thing is that it’s loved by men and women, so you don’t just have to go along in a hen party!

Performances:      Mon 19 – Sat 24 Sep
            Mon –Thu & Sat eves 7.30pm, Fri 5.30pm * 8pm Sat mat 2.30pm
Tickets:         From £12.50 (£14.40 when booked online or over the phone)
Box Office:         0844 871 7607 (Bkg fee. Calls 7p per min plus phone company’s access charge)
Groups Hotline:     0844 871 7614
Access Booking:    0844 871 7677 (Bkg fee)
Online Booking:    www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury (Bkg fee)

For further tour details go to:
www.dirtydancingontour.com


Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye
19.9.16
@yvonnedelahaye

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