Press Review: Dirty Dancing at The Alexandra Theatre

Note: This review is for the 2021 UK tour of Dirty Dancing.

As someone who has seen the film so many times that I can still recite the dialogue and lyrics by heart, I was interested to see how it would translate from the big screen to the Alexandra Theatre stage

Dirty Dancing tells the story of Frances “Baby” Houseman, an idealistic middle-class teen who is vacationing with her family at the sleepy Kellerman Resort in 1963. Her summer is about to change when she meets the charming and handsome resort dance instructor Johnny Castle…

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Real Life Versus The Movies

Just for today, I would like you to indulge me and imagine this scenario.


You go on holiday with your hard-working, well-respected doctor husband and your two teenage (and rather sheltered) daughters. When you arrive, your seventeen year old daughter, Frances, who has designs of going to college and later joining the Peace Corps, develops a crush on a twenty-five year old dance instructor, Jonny, who works at the resort you are staying at. His dance partner is pregnant and your daughter lies to borrow money from your husband so she can pay for an illegal abortion for this woman. When it goes wrong, she wakes you up in the middle of the night and asks your husband to save this woman’s life. He does, but forbids your daughter to see these people ever again.

During your stay your daughter sneaks behind your back on numerous occasions to be with this dance instructor (who isn’t always nice to her), to have dance lessons so she can fill in for his partner who is still recovering. She inevitably has sex with him. After he is accused of stealing, your daughter confesses that he’s innocent because he was with her, smearing the family reputation.

On your final night at the resort, the dance instructor appears, insults your husband (nobody puts Baby in the corner) and then proceeds to drag your daughter up onto the stage in front of everybody and dance with her, feeling her up in the process.


Would you and your husband join in with the ‘dirty dancing’ after your daughter has performed and is busy ‘making out’ with the dance instructor in the middle of the room? No, you wouldn’t. In several countries Jonny would now be in prison for statutory rape and trespassing and your husband would be facing charges of assault.

Or perhaps I need to stop over-thinking things…

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