THE STARS OF SMASH-HIT STAGE MUSICAL DIRTY DANCING BELIEVE THE LONG-RUNNING SUCCESS OF THE SHOW IS DUE TO THE FANS.
The original 1987 film Dirty Dancing, starring Patrick Swayze, took the world by storm and the musical will visit New Wimbledon Theatre from November 20-24 2018.
After initially opening in Sydney in 2004, the show danced its way to London’s Aldwych Theatre in 2006, with a record-breaking advance of £15 million, and the show has now been performed in 124 cities worldwide.
On touring again as Robby, show star Tom Bowen said: “It was a generation’s liberation – they relive it every time they hear the music, it is a pure fantasy.
“It is the audience that has kept the show and film alive for so long.
“They know every line and every dance, the energy they give as an audience pulls everything together.”
Millie Hood, who is in the show’s ensemble and is first cover ‘Penny’ on the upcoming tour, much like Tom hadn’t actually seen the film until she got her audition slot through from her agent.
Millie said: “My mum had always said to watch it and I hadn’t, but as soon as I watched ahed of my audition I knew I wanted to be in the musical. It’s such a great feeling.
“It is a very different show to most musicals, it has a big cult following. It was such a big moment in history with the development of this style of dancing.”
Producer of the musical Karl Sydow, has been involved with the musical since 2004 when it was brought to his attention at a party, while he was in Australia working on the show Dance Of Death starring Sir Ian McKellen.
Karl Said: “The first thing I did when in talks to produce Dirty Dancing was to phone my daughter and ask her if it was a good idea as I knew she and her friends loved it.
“I also had a friend of mine, Judi Dench, who always talked about it. She and her daughter would watch it whenever they had a grey day.
“Dirty dancing became the first show that I produced, not just because I liked it, but because I was told by people that I respected that I should do it.”
For those that are not familiar with the show or the film, it is set in the summer of 1963, and while on vacation 17-year-old Frances ‘baby’ Houseman falls in love the resort’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle.
The movie is one of the biggest grossing independent films of all time, with only a budget of $5million it has now grossed over $210million in revenue worldwide.
Karl said that Swayze was only initially cast in the film as they could not afford John Travolta, who had at the time had not long starred in smash hit films such as Grease and Saturday Night Fever.
When asked by the Queen, yes the Queen of England, what a producer does Karl said: “We are like sand at the beach, we are everywhere and get in everything.”
Being a busy producer Karl is often jetting around the world to work on projects but Karl likes to be hands-on with maintaining Dirty Dancing the musical.
He said: “I go to most opening nights of Dirty Dancing, wherever it is in the world, there is such a thing as quality control.
“Usually you don’t have to do very much if you are always around, you have to fix things when you stay away from it for too long.”
Fans of the movie who want to move their hips and see the iconic moves on stage have plenty of opportunities.
The tour starts in September at the Theatre Royale, Brighton, and is currently booking until March 2019.
What: Dirty Dancing — The Classic Story On Stage
Where: New Wimbledon Theatre
When: November 20-24 2018