Bristol Theatre News

Dirty Dancing – Bristol Hippodrome – Review

We absolutely had the time of our lives at this brilliant theatrical version of hit coming of age movie Dirty Dancing.

The show is brilliantly cast, with an especially amazing  Roseanna Frascona as Jennifer Grey’s character Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman.

The entire production pays homage to every nuance of the popular movie, from ‘I carried a water melon’, vocal intonation through to the famous dance moves and the ultimate ‘Lift’.

After a wobbly start from the set, it finally encompasses some great cinematic effects as Johnny starts teaching Baby to dance.

In fact, this is the point when the whole show lifts from movie replication to a great work in its own right.

Claire Rodgers also gives a stunning performance as the bubbly but tragic Penny Johnson. When the three principle performers come together in an electrifying final scene of coaching before the dance competition, were the music not so loud you would hear a pin drop.

Though we fully know the outcome of the show, there is a collective holding of breath when Baby nervously takes to the stage with Johnny, at the Sheldrake Hotel.

The balmy, summer nights show, pointedly juxtaposes its darker undercurrents such as racism, class war and backstreet abortion against the dying embers of the 1950s and the youthful embrace of what the 60s has to offer.

Despite the hot dance routines, moment of the night must surely go to Jessie-Lou Yates’ portrayal of Lisa Houseman and her hysterical rendition of the Hula.

And what of Johnny Castle in this production? Played by Lewis Kirk, all the elements of the Legendary Patrick Swayze are present and correct, with Lewis adding youthful sexiness and damn fine dancing to the gritty character.

Dirty Dancing is a brilliant show, faithfully recreating everything we love about the original 1987 movie.


Dirty Dancing is at The Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 05 April 2014