Review: A Night of Dirty Dancing, Ipswich Regent

Katie Leigh and Darius J James star in A Night of Dirty Dancing

Katie Leigh and Darius J James star in A Night of Dirty Dancing - Credit: Archant

It’s the ultimate feel-good classic. A film you switch on if you’ve had rubbish day, a bad break-up or simply because you haven’t seen it in a while.

At the Ipswich Regent on Friday night every seat was taken in anticipation for Easy Theatres’ tribute to the 1980s favourite.

The show stuck to the best bits, following a song-by-song rendition of the holiday romance with the cast mimicking the main roles.

The hosts, Baby’s sister Lisa (Sophie Elizabeth) and Max Kellerman (Will Norton), quickly welcomed the audience to the summer of 1963 and the troupe breezed through performances of Big Boys Don’t Cry and Be My Baby.

A young and energetic cast then sashayed to Johnny’s Mambo, a Latin leg clenching number with plenty of thrills. Love Man then followed and the main man Johnny Castle (Darius J James) showed off Patrick Swayze’s snake-hips moves.


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Despite the lively effort of the all-singing all-dancing ensemble, the scripted banter sometimes fell flat. It was only until audience participation was rallied in the form of a poor unsuspecting male that the atmosphere started to loosen up.

Many got up and were dancing in the aisles and later a Selfie Stick was brought out on stage for a mass photo.

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The second act opened with a renewed spark, but everyone was awaiting the iconic “lift” with bated breath.

A Night of Dirty Dancing was a light-hearted tribute to a timeless soundtrack, performed by a talented and small company.

Catherine Watts

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