Last night, I thoroughly enjoyed a couple of hours immersed in the Dirty Dancing UK Tour at the Palace Theatre Manchester. When your all-time favourite movie is adapted for the stage, there’s a mix of anticipation and uncertainty about how it will resonate with you.
In this case, we’re talking about Dirty Dancing, the film that captivates you every time it graces your TV screen. To the point where it feels like you know the movie by heart. Dirty Dancing etched itself into the hearts of an entire generation and many more to follow. It’s a much-loved film and has big shoes to fill.
Review, Dirty Dancing UK Tour, 2023, At The The Palace Theatre Manchester.
A Little About Dirty Dancing
Dirty Dancing is a classic film that has stood the test of time. Released in 1987, it tells the story of Frances “Baby” Houseman, a 17-year-old girl from a wealthy family who falls in love with Johnny Castle, a working-class dance instructor at a Kellerman’s resort in 1963.
The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $264 million worldwide against a budget of $5 million. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. It won the award for Best Original Song for “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”, which was performed by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes.
The film’s success can be attributed to several factors, including its strong cast, its heartwarming story, and its iconic soundtrack. The story is both joyous and heartbreaking, and the soundtrack features some of the most memorable songs of the 1980s. Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey give two of the best performances of their careers, and the film’s chemistry is undeniable.
Dirty Dancing is a timeless classic that continues to be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. The film is a must-see for any fan of romantic dramas, coming-of-age stories, or classic Hollywood films.
Having seen the Dirty Dancing stage show several times, I have enjoyed it more each time than the last. The show is a faithful film adaptation but includes subtle changes that make it fresh and new. These changes help explain some cultural references unfamiliar to younger audiences and add a touch of humour to the story.
From the moment you lay eyes on Baby (Kira Malou), her portrayal is utterly convincing. She embodies the role flawlessly, drawing you into the story effortlessly. As for Johnny (Michael O’Reilly), he delivers a remarkable performance that lives up to the high expectations set by his predecessor. He steps into those enormous shoes with grace and exceptional talent.
Georgia Aspinall shines as Penny, showcasing dance moves that leave you breathless. Every character captivates, drawing you into the story. Colin Charles brings Tito to life in a fantastic manner. His warmth and undeniable talent shine through, and seeing his beloved movie character’s role expanded and embellished is delightful.
The attention to detail in the hair and wardrobe is impeccable. When recreating a cherished story like this, such meticulousness truly matters. It adds to the authenticity and ensures that every aspect is faithful to the original, enhancing the overall experience.
The Dirty Dancing stage show is a faithful and truly joyous film adaptation. The cast is excellent, the music is great, and the dancing is spectacular. If you are a fan of the film, you will love the show. However, you will still enjoy the show if you have never seen the movie. I highly recommend it.
Where can I see the Dirty Dancing UK Tour?
Dirty Dancing is playing at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, until Sat 3 Jun 2023, with tickets from £14.40.
And then on tour at the following locations.
- Liverpool Empire, Tue 13 Jun – Sat 17 Jun 2023
- Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, Tue 4 Jul – Sat 8 Jul 2023
- The Alexandra, Birmingham, Tue 18 Jul – Sat 22 Jul 2023
- New Theatre Oxford, Tue 25 Jul – Sat 29 Jul 2023
- King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 24 Oct – Sat 28 Oct 2023
Please note I was gifted these tickets in return for an honest review. See more theatre reviews here.
Sarah Christie is a craft, food, cruise, and family travel blogger Extraordinary Chaos, Cruising For All and Mini Travellers. Known for her unique perspective and ability to find beauty in chaos, Sarah designs and creates craft projects as well as creating recipes for people who want to cook from scratch the easy way. Whilst also exploring family travel and how to navigate it.