Dirty Dancing gives audiences the feelgood factor at Venue Cymru

Lewis Kirk and ensemble in a classic scene from Dirty Dancing. Picture by Tristram Kenton.

Patrick Swayze stole my heart forever when I first saw him as Johnny Castle in the film Dirty Dancing in 1987.

Sadly, the much loved actor is no longer with us, but if you fancy sparking the memories of the summer of 1963 when Baby and Johnny first met at Kellerman’s, then head over to Venue Cymru in Llandudno as the production of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage is currently playing until October 17.

I went along on the opening night with my sister-in-law, and we were both enthralled from the opening bars of the first song Be My Baby, as were the rest of the audience in a packed house.

This production boasts a lot of fast scene changes, and set designer Stephen Brimson Lewis has been very clever as it all moves seamlessly along at a rapid rate.

We even get the famous scene where Johnny and Baby practice their infamous lift in the water, but I won’t give the game away by telling you how, you’ll have to go and see it!

The cast is fabulous, with Lewis Kirk as Johnny having the required swagger for the role as well as some great hips!

Jessie Hart as Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is also terrific, the angst of her first love is palpable.

Mark Faith as Mr Schumacher brings the house down with his antics, and Georgina Castle as Lisa Houseman also deserves a mention for her off key rendition of Lisa’s Hula!

The audience went crazy when Johnny uttered his famous line ‘Nobody puts Baby in the corner’ and the finale with I’ve Had the Time of my Life was joyous.

Contrary to the film, the stage production allows more time for a bit of back story, and on stage we see more of Mrs Houseman’s (played ably by Lori Haley Fox) reaction to Baby’s lies to her father and the awakenings of her first love.

I cannot recommend this production enough, if you love the film, you will also adore the stage version.

It stirred a lot of memories for me, and some audience members were moved to tears.

Lewis Kirk and Jessie Hart as Johnny and Baby in Dirty Dancing. Picture by Tristram Kenton
Lewis Kirk and Jessie Hart as Johnny and Baby in Dirty Dancing. Picture by Tristram Kenton

It definitely has the feelgood factor.