An electric atmosphere in the Forum as Dirty Dancing comes to town

Dirty Dancing's Lewis Griffith (Johnny Castle) and Katie Hartland (Baby) who are performing in the Millennium Forum this week
Dirty Dancing's Lewis Griffith (Johnny Castle) and Katie Hartland (Baby) who are performing in the Millennium Forum this week

The atmosphere was electric in the Millenium Forum on Monday night as Dirty Dancing kicked off its six night run.

The theatre was packed to the rafters, with groups of ladies smiling with anticipation awaiting the biggest show of the season. Although I wasn’t a diehard fan of the original film, I knew the characters and the songs.

From the showstopping opening number Big Girls Don’t Cry, it was clear the performance was going to be something special.

Katie Harland took on the iconic role of Baby Houseman, and you would be forgiven for thinking you were watching Jennifer Grey on stage.

For the first performance, alternate Karl James Wilson took on the role of Johnny Castle, who has also appeared in Hollyoaks and a stage production of the Jungle Book. He had the crowd whipped up into a frenzy from the minute he stepped on stage, perfectly portraying Johnny, oozing attitude and charm. The audience cheered and screamed every time he moved on stage.

Another standout performance was Carlie Milner as Penny Johnson. She is the ultimate performer with incredible dancing, singing and acting.

The production itself was superb, and I was amazed that they were able to recreate the lake lift scene to perfection.

Some unexpected thrills at the start of the second act had the audience going wild. The well known songs like Hungry Eyes led to more singing and dancing from the audience, and the iconic (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life was greeted by cheers and applause.

There was a well deserved standing ovation at the end of the performance, with the entire audience dancing and singing along, smiling from ear to ear.

I also have to mention the superb live band, who kept the audience dancing long after the lights went up.

I can safely say Dirty Dancing was one of the most enjoyable shows I have been to, and I will sit down and watch the film again at the weekend.