Read the Daily Echo's review of Dirty Dancing at the Mayflower

Gareth Bailey as Johnny and Roseanna Frascona as Baby in Dirty Dancing

Gareth Bailey as Johnny and Roseanna Frascona as Baby in Dirty Dancing

First published in News
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Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Entertainments Editor

NOBODY puts baby in a corner.

It’s a line guaranteed to bring the house down.

But as hero Johnny bursts into the auditorium with his shades on and his leather jacket slung over his shoulder, strides down the aisle, throws his bag on stage and starts the monologue which ends with that immortal line, the reception was nothing short of rapturous.

There were so many wolf whistles, screams and cheers from the largely 30 and 40 something female audience, that even this cool customer looked taken aback.

Gareth Bailey makes a wonderful Johnny with a macho swagger, Patrick Swayze’s trademark moves and a much appreciated physique.

His chemistry with both the leading ladies is excellent – Roseanna Frascona as Baby says she has never seen the iconic 1987 film, but she has every one of Jennifer Grey’s moves and mannerisms and Carlie Milner gets it just right as Penny, the leggy blonde dancer with the upsetting back story.

It’s only just over two years since we last enjoyed a visit from the cast of Dirty Dancing, but the show has been reworked and is better for it.

Plus the staff are a little more prepared this time for a slightly raucous atmosphere and groups of hens hell bent on ogling the man playing their teen heart-throb.

The story, script, costumes and music are as true to the film as possible on stage, at times mimicking it word for word.

There are added laughs though, Lisa’s cringe-worthy song at the holiday camp talent show, that famous lift in the water and anything from golden grandson Neil Kellerman being stand out funny moments.

A superb orchestra are suspended over the stage, really feeling part of the action.

They perform 60s hit after hit like Yes! Hey! Baby and She’s Like The Wind as the brilliant production builds up to a stunning crescendo to the sounds and moves of that classic (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.

We loved every second of what proved a perfect girls night out.

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