Guest Review! Hannah Aldwinckle Has The Time of Her Life at Dirty Dancing The Musical



Good Morning Lovelies, 

Nobody puts Baby in a corner - but the Dominion Theatre do put people in seats ready to have the time of their lives!

Curtain lifts and the theatre show begins! Frederico Ballone, the show‘s director, managed to do a great job of knowing the audience and giving them what they need! From the moment the show starts to the last note of the closing performance, the songs are the ones you expected, the lines perfectly match all of the best lines from the show and the costume design is spot on from Baby’s white plimsoles to Johnny’s high waisted black trousers to Penny’s red heels.

The show really did bring the film alive, highlighting and re-enacting the most important scenes whilst adding that little bit of theatre pizazz that we all love. The scene in the river was wonderfully interpreted – the light dimmed and both Michael O’Reilly and Kira Malou (Johnny and Baby) appeared on top of a log practising their balance. This scene of course evoked cheers from the audience as it is a firm favourite from the film! The lights dimmed again and like magic the pair appeared surrounded by water behind a screen that set a forest surrounding. And just like that, they did the lift for the first time!

Now onto the acting. The portrayal of Baby’s character was brilliantly done by lead actress Kira Malou. The flicks of the feet, the iconic and recognisable clumsy movement and the innocent giggles – all perfectly re-enacted and true to the performance given by Jennifer Grey in the original film. Michael O’Reilly did a fantastic job of portraying Johnny with his well balanced dancing, powerful and strong projecting voice. O’Reilly also managed to push his hair back in such a way that it was easy to mistake him for the late Patrick Swayze! A noteworthy performance was also given from Carlie Milner who had the pleasure of playing Penny. She has the elegance and poise that Cynthia Rhodes did during the original movie. Her dancing was immaculate and the scenes she danced through with O’Reilly were flawless.

Of course something that we must mention is the abortion scene. They do very well to approach this subtly and sensitively without showing anything graphic. The era’s political and racial divisions are also referenced throughout – at one point a radio sound clip of Martin Luther King Jr. is played which really helped to shine a spotlight on the times.

In moments the show did feel like it rushed through certain scenes in order to fit all of the iconic parts in – some scenes suffered more than others because of this. One of these that felt the hit was the Love is Strange by Mickey and Sylvia scene where Johnny and Baby are crawling towards each other in the beautifully 80s studio – you didn’t hear the memorable “Sylvia? Yes Mickey?” and no crawling took place.

The show came to a close and as expected the entire audience were on their feet clapping and dancing. It would have been nice to have had a little final sing through of the most famous tracks, like is done in the Mamma Mia show. The audience had been desperately trying not to sing and shout throughout the whole show so would have appreciated a little longer to let off steam at the end!

All in all, if you love the film you’ll love the show! I’ve never felt so much energy from an audience at a theatre show, so if you’re looking for an energising and nostalgic night then this is the one for you!

4 out of 5 stars from me!

Hannah X

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