Dirty Dancing, Kings Theatre, Southsea, REVIEW: 'Perfected the cult classic in a way I did not realise was possible'

Every member of the audience was having the time of their lives when Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage turned up the heat at the Kings Theatre, Southsea.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 8:57 am
Updated Thursday, 30th May 2019, 11:14 am
Michael O'Reilly (Johnny), Kira Malou (Baby) and Simone Covele (Penny) in Dirty Dancing. Picture by Alastair Muir

The auditorium filled up quickly before an annoucement declared there would be a delay to the start of the performance. However it was a performance worth waiting for. 

Based on the 1987 classic film featuring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, the cast of the UK stage tour bring the story to life. Instantly we’re transported back to 1963 ‘before President Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles came’ as Baby declares in her opening line. 

What I enjoy most about the production is that it doesn’t divert away from the original storyline. The director and producers have ensured that every iconic line is executed and every original song is played. I feared that the characters may suddenly break into song however I am extremely pleased to say this did not happen. 

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Kira Malou, from Southampton, perfects Baby’s uncoordinated and awkard stance when she first begins to dance with Johnny Castle, played by talented Michael O’Reilly, and develops her character smoothly. Alongside Malou and O’Reilly, every dancer on stage knows how to move – live band included – and it is clear that choreographer Gillian Bruce has worked every dancer hard. Simone Covele who plays Penny is an incredible dancer and shines through in paired and group dances alike. 

Naturally, the finale gets the audience bouncing in their seats with its raunchy, energetic choreography and is without a doubt one of the best bits of the show. The live band on stage deserve the standing ovation for their impressive solos throughout the show. 

Every cast member showed what they were made of, shaked their hips and perfected the cult classic in a way I did not realise was possible. 

Until Saturday.