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Review: Dirty Dancing at Palace Theatre is ‘bursting with amazing chemistry’

If you're looking to have the time of your life... why not head on down to Dirty Dancing at the Palace Theatre.

For those who don’t know about Dirty Dancing, it follows Frances “Baby” Houseman and her family during the summer of 1963, as she falls for an older dancer called Johnny Castle.

They learn to fight for each other, other people and more importantly themselves.

It also features the most iconic lift in history (a delight to witness in real life).

Arriving early, my guest and I take our seats and as showtime draws near we feel the incredible buzz within the theatre from film lovers and general theatregoers alike.

It starts with Lydia Sterling (who plays Elizabeth) singing This Magic Moment with the ensemble slow dancing to her vocals.

This happens a few times throughout the show during scene changes and I found it a perfect way to fill the awkward silence of these moments.

Sterling then slides right into the scene as the back curtain rises.

A personal highlight for me (and everyone else’s it seems) is Michael O’Reilly who plays our Johnny Castle.

It takes a lot of courage to follow in the footsteps of Patrick Swayze and that can be quite nerve-racking for someone but O’Reilly is perfect and even got my mother’s seal of approval and she’s ‘Crazy for Swayze’.

O’Reilly has what my mother would like to call, the Swayze swag.

There was a particular way the Swayze moved and O’Reilly captures the essence of Johnny Castle so well, it felt like I was watching the film.

He also took his clothes off during two scenes and that was another highlight for me (and for everybody else too).

Kira Malou plays our lead, Baby and she has a way of portraying young innocence and benevolence in a way that inspires you to better yourself.

Malou has plenty of one-liners that are delivered perfectly (“I carried a watermelon”).

From her learning the dance to mastering the lift, it goes to show how incredible she is.

For someone who has mastered the dance over and over, she manages to make you believe she genuinely struggles and cannot dance the routine at all.

Malou’s chemistry with O’Reilly is a love story on and off stage.

They both met during the auditions for Dirty Dancing in 2018 and have been Baby and Johnny for four years now.

They have only become a couple in December of last year.

You can tell they have incredible chemistry because of the way they act with each other.

O’Reilly looked at Malou in a different way than he did with the rest of the cast.

That connection can be seen in every part of the theatre.

Colin Charles who plays Tito Suarez entertains us after the interval with a rendition of ‘Love Man’ and gets the audience pumped for the rest of the show.

Federico Bellone is to be applauded for the summary and exotic set designs that are seen during the show.

If With a title card dropping down from the ceiling to the multi-use of certain set designs he impressed thoroughly and helped to tell the story.

You can get your tickets by clicking here.

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