In Reviews

After months indoors with only Netflix to keep us company, we craved returning to the theatre and seeing a live performance with an actual live cast and audience. So, when I saw the majestic Theatre Royal had a production of Dirty Dancing coming to the theatre, it seemed like the perfect celebratory show to dust off the lockdown cobwebs and return to enjoying nights out in the city.

Photo of professional dancers at Theatre Royal Brighton

The first thing I must tell you about is the lengths the venue has gone to ensure everyone is kept safe. To attend a show upon arrival, as well as your eTickets, all members of your party over the age of 18 must demonstrate their COVID-19 status to gain entry. There were regular hand sanitisers throughout, and all the staff were wearing masks. This took a lot of anxiety out of booking and meant once inside, we could really relax and enjoy the show. Our insiders tip is to pre-order a drink for the interval at the bar which meant you could just collect your drinks and go back to the action after the interval and ensured the bar wasn’t too busy.

As die-hard Dirty Dancing fans we were intrigued to see how the production would differ to the film version. For those who don’t know the story, Dirty Dancing is a coming-of-age story of Baby (real name Frances) and Johnny the bad boy dance teacher at the Kellermans holiday resort where Baby and her family are staying for the Summer. The story unfolds with an iconic soundtrack and, as the title suggests, raunchy dancing. Settling down into our seats in the pink glow of the huge neon Dirty Dancing sign we were ready to see how the live show would compare.

Photo of performers at the Theatre Royal Brighton

Firstly, the show opened with a new song delivered by Amber Sylvia Edwards as Elizabeth, called the “Magic Moment” which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, the powerful vocals a beautiful start to the show. Kira Malou played Baby perfectly, bringing a lighter humour to the performance which made a great backdrop to her brooding, misunderstood, counterpart Johnny. In turn the actor playing Johnny got just the right balance of tormented, attractive dance artist before it became too much.  This being my first trip to the theatre in a while I had forgotten the magic of hearing a room full of people applauding in unison. This beautiful, historic venue being brought to life again with music, clapping, singing, and dancing was magical, a real celebration of fun. It may have been the Theatre Royal doing what they do best, but to us it was a restart to safely going out again, enjoying shows and a meal, is there anything better than being swept along in a live story unfolding in front of you, coming out and chatting about it over dinner and enjoying the nightlife, we think not.

With a busy programme bursting with top drama, comedy, musicals, and dance now is the time to return to the theatre and enjoy!

Caroline

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Theatre Royal Brighton
Theatre
Theatre Royal Brighton - exterior at night

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