Have the time of your life at A Night of Dirty Dancing

PUBLISHED: 09:01 22 March 2015

A night of dirty dancing at the KMT

A night of dirty dancing at the KMT


It’s loved all over the world for its steamy love scenes and soulful soundtrack.

But now Dirty Dancing will be brought to life on the stage at Ilford’s Kenneth More Theatre.

New production A Night of Dirty Dancing will be at the venue on Sunday, setting pulses racing for an evening of entertainment.

Producer Phil Hawkins said: “It’s a classic – the film of a generation. Seeing it on stage is stepping out of the reality of nine to five for a while.

“I’ve tried to make it as fun as possible.

“It’s predominantly women – the young lads in the show enjoy it very much.”

The production, written and devised by Phil, is based on the 1987 film which tells the story of “Baby” Houseman, a young woman who falls in love with working-class dance instructor Johnny Castle during a family summer at Kellerman’s holiday camp.

Set in the 1960s, the coming-of-age drama – which has a soundtrack featuring music by Otis Redding, Eric Carmen and The Ronettes – touches on gritty topics such as abortion and class.

Phil said his production focused on the Kellerman’s talent show in the film’s final scene, telling the story through flashbacks.

“I couldn’t tell the story the way the film tells it, so as a producer that’s garet because that’s a challenge,” he said.

“The live audience becaome the audience at Kellerman’s.

“Whatever you do with it you have to have respect for the fact it’s Dirty Dancing.

“Every show we’ve done so far has had a standing ovation, which speaks for itself.”

Featuring choreography by Ness Finn, Phil said the show featured plenty of racey moves – including the famous lift during Oscar-winning (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.

In the 68-date touring show, the role of Baby is played by Eloise Gray, taking the lead from her namesake Jennifer Grey who appeared in the Hollywood version.

Darius James, who is playing the coveted role of Johnny – made famous by Patrick Swayze – said it had been a big role to take on.

The 23-year-old, from Southend-on-Sea, said: “It’s quite an expectation, it’s a big challenge, but I enjoy it.

“The audience are massive fans of the show so they always love the big moments.

“There’s always this pressure. It’s very full on.

“I think because our show focuses on teh key moment of the film, it’s what peopel have come to see.”

And Will Norton – who stars as Max Kellerman, owner of the holiday camp, said: “It’s so much fun. That’s what the night is all about.

“It’s got really good songs, that’s why I like it so much.”

The show will be at the theatre in Oakfield Road, Ilford, on Sunday (March 29) at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £19, concessions £18. To buy call 020 8553 4466 or visit

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