Dirty Dancing: From Screen to Stage


Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych Theatre

The musical version of Dirty Dancing is a class act. If you loved the film then you’ll feel the same way about the stage adaptation, which clings close and true to the original version, including all the famous catchphrases and the biggest songs.

If you haven’t seen the film already, Dirty Dancing the musical stands, and rumbas and cha-chas, perfectly well on its own. Set in America in the summer of 1963, it tells the story of Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman and Johnny Castle, two strong-minded young characters who meet and fall in love against the odds at an upper-class holiday camp.

There’s a perfectly-cast Hannah Vassallo as Baby, the heroine, and impressively sexy moves from Johnny (Martin Harvey) and Penny (Nadia Coote), the dance teachers from the wrong side of the tracks. The supporting cast are a very talented bunch too, especially Fra Fee, the West End newcomer who plays Billy Kostecki, Johnny’s cousin, who is clearly someone to watch out for in future.

This production wins hands down with its all-round attention to detail. Expect an amazing array of glamorous early-1960s costumes from the wardrobe department that will have all the girls in the audience rushing out to the nearest vintage shop after the show. The clever staging makes good use of the space too, helping the cast move seamlessly from scene to scene, keeping up the momentum of the story. But most of all, it’s the choreography that draws the applause, and rightly so.

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