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Dirty Dancing comes to Wimbledon

The Classic Story on Stage will be mamboing into New Wimbledon Theatre this November, after a hugely successful sell-out tour in the UK last year and in 2011.

The musical theatre version of the much-loved film follows the story of Baby and Johnny with an awesome soundtrack featuring ‘Hungry Eyes’, and of course power ballad ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’, as well as passionate dance scenes.

“It’s the classic story told on an international scale,” says producer Karl Sydow, who has taken some time out of the launch event to talk to Time & Leisure. “It’s an absolute thrill to produce when you get a standing ovation across the world and every night and you know it has made so many so happy.”

The Hollywood classic was released in film form in the 1980s and its appeal still endures with universal themes exploring growing up and first love.

“It’s something that resonates with audiences across the world and across generations. Baby goes to the ball and meets Prince Charming and falls in love with him and this is a story that people dream of and can relate to. The story starts and she thinks the only man in her life is her father, so it’s about that transition that all young women make. This journey is the story’s strength.”

The famous track ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’ is immediately associated with the story, and is a power ballad that has won numerous awards, and elevates the soundtrack to make it one of the best-loved in musical history.

“The soundtrack is just wonderful and some of those tracks don’t lose impact over time,” says Karl.

What makes this year’s production stand out from previous tours is new casting, alongside a new director Federico Bellone who has worked tirelessly in theatres across Italy.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for him to direct in the UK,” says Karl. “Audiences can expect the production to be a lot sexier.”

“The overall effect is that the audience experience it as a real group experience. The fans know everything about the film but it’s a form of escapism and the escapism is the fairy story that ends in a happily ever after.”

“People told me I was mad for taking it on because the film is such a classic but the reason why it works so well and goes hand in hand with the film is because it’s live. It becomes a group experience and people unite and get together to enjoy it.”

“You’re there with Baby and Johnny and you’re on their journey.”

Kicking off back in September at Brighton Theatre Royal, the musical will come to New Wimbledon Theatre from 19 to 24 November 2018 and Woking New Victoria Theatre from 18 to 23 March 2019.