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Review of Dirty Dancing The Classic Show On Stage at Palace Theatre Manchester

28 Sep 2021

Review : Dirty Dancing The Classic Story On Stage is back at the Palace Theatre Manchester for 2021. 

Dirty Dancing The Classic Stage Show is back on its UK tour with a brand new Company for 2021. 

Having been lucky enough to watch the show back in 2019, I knew I was in for a treat and it didn’t disappoint. 

The stage adaptation of the classic film transports the audience to Kellermen’s Holiday resort in the summer of 1963 to follow 17 year old ‘Baby’ Houseman as she falls in love with the resort’s dance instructor Johnny Castle.

Fans will be glad to see that it follows the film pretty much scene for scene, with the odd variation and a few additions focusing on the climate behind the Black Rights Movement at the time the story is set. 

It was great to see that Kira Malou has continued in her role as a very convincing ‘Baby’. Her very uncoordinated attempts at the dance routine had the audience in stitches. Her talents however do not stop at comedy as she perfects the moves to show that she can also dance and act.

Michael O’Reilly is also back again as ‘Johnny’. Patrick Swayze left very big shoes to fill as Johnny Castle, but Michael certainly held his own. His confidence in the role has certainly grown since and his delivery of lines was much more natural. His dance skills were second to none and his charisma and swagger captured the part perfectly and he definitely lived up to the character.

Kira Malou Baby Michael OReilly Johnny Dirty Dancing The Classic Story on Stage Photo credit Mark Senior 2Photo credit Mark Senior 

Most importantly Michael and Kira had amazing chemistry, which had us all sat on the edge of our seats as we watched their relationship move from the dance floor to the bedroom; with one very literal cheeky scene which was thoroughly enjoyed by the mainly female audience ( who might I add were not afraid to show their appreciation during the numerous topless Johnny scenes). 

Carlie Milner as Penny also deserves a mention, with her outstanding dance performances. The choreography and skills of all the cast lived up to the film.

Michael OReilly Johnny Carlie Milner Penny Dirty Dancing The Classic Story on Stage Photo credit Mark Senior 2Photo credit Mark Senior 

Samuel who plays Johnny’s cousin Billy and Amber Sylvia Davies also wowed with amazing vocals which acted as a natural narration to the story.

It was not just the cast that made the show. The sets and lighting seamlessly move around the various locations of Kellermans; the water ‘lift practice’ was pure genius and truly hilarious.

2021 Company Dirty Dancing The Classic Story on Stage Photo credit Mark Senior 4

Of course, it wouldn’t be Dirty Dancing without the songs and the show did not let us down. All the numbers we know and love were there as more of a soundtrack feel rather than musical adaptations, which I was very pleased to see. 

Yet again, I had the time of my life ( sorry couldn’t resist) at the Dirty Dancing Classic Stage show and would recommend it for a great night out. 

Dirty Dancing The Classic Show On Stage is showing at the Palace Theatre Manchester until 2nd October 2021.

For more information and to book tickets see here 

Photo credit Mark Senior 

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