Dirty Dancing – review

A crowd-pleasing finale, with humour, dancing and a fantastic atmosphere – we review Dirty Dancing at the Bristol Hippodrome. 

With all the hits of this classic film soundtrack, we knew we’d love the stage show of one of our favourite films. 

Do You Love Me?, She’s Like The Wind and Time of My Life are all featured in this adapted musical of the much-loved movie. Watching it on stage however, is like watching the extended version of the film – as there are new numbers specially created for the live performance. 

For those who don’t know the story of Dirty Dancing, the tale tells of a family holiday at a popular holiday camp. It’s set in the sixties, so a Butlins type holiday and the associated entertainment was a big deal back then!

The Housemans’ youngest daughter ‘Baby’ meets a dance teacher, Johnny, who’s everything her doctor father would prefer her not to date. Classic love story ensues and loves wins the day.

Along the way there’s tension, drama, laughs and even more love. The script is similar to the movie, probably in part because Eleanor Bergstein – script writer of the 1987 film – was involved in writing it.

A favourite for us wasn’t actually Baby, or Johnny, but Penny, who plays best friend to Johnny and his dance partner (before Baby steps in). 

Simone Covele with Michael O’Reilly, who plays Johnny

The talent and ability of Simone Covele, who plays Penny, is undeniable, we could’ve watched her alone, all night. Before performing in Dirty Dancing, she was also a soloist at the world-famous Moulin Rouge, in Paris!

However, Baby, played by Katie Eccles, was hilariously comical in attempts to ‘learn’ to dance, which had the crowds in fits of laughter. 

Of course ‘the lift’ is one of the most famous moves in the movie and it didn’t disappoint on stage either. The finale of the show was such a rush of excitement – it really got the crowd going, with a sensational atmosphere. 

If we could’ve asked for anything it would be that the songs were a little longer, but with more than 35 songs crammed into just over two hours – could we really ask for more?

Overall, we loved the show and would recommend it as a must-watch in a heartbeat. 

Dirty Dancing is showing at the Bristol Hippodrome until July 6.

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