Monday, October 30, 2006

Dirty? Oh yeah baby!

You see a surprising amount of good theatre in Australia - up to two years before you see it in the UK - because a surprising number of theatre producers live in Australia, and it is a superb test market for the USA and UK. Which is why we saw a Dirty Dancing preview two weeks ago on the recommendation of Universal Mother-In-Law, who visited recently from Brisbane.

Being male, I am a bit cynical about Dirty Dancing. And, in much the same way that Universal Wifey has never seen any of the Star Wars movies, and cares not for The Godfather I, II or III; I never bothered to see the Dirty Dancing when it was a film. Which is why I found myself standing outside the Aldwych theatre with two Dirty Dancing tickets in my hand, waiting for Universal Wifey to arrive directly from her flight from Switzerland.

First the theatre. (Well, you don't want me to ploughing straight in there, do you girls - gratification is better delayed.) The Aldwych theatre has been extensively re-modelled in time for Dirty Dancing so the steats work without squeaking, the bathrooms are functional, the paint un-chipped, the carpet not the slightest bit sticky and the chandeleir cleaned and polished to twinkly gorgeousness - so make sure you walk down the front to buy an icecream or a bottle of water from the vendors in the auditorium so you can stand in line and look up the the building - it really is fabulous.

Now the performance. I would like to trash it as "...soft porn for women..." as the Sunday Times already has, but I think that is short-changing it. Sure it is largely a platform for Josef Brown's rippling V-shaped torso to be paraded atop his thrusting, black-denim-clad groin; sure the singing is of the quality you usually expect from dancers; sure the storyline is a fine gossamer thread tenuously linking opportunities to dance, sing or see Josef Brown's rippling V-shaped torso paraded atop his thrusting, black-denim-clad groin; and sure the audience is 70% daughters of the eighties and their mothers, who become one gagging, gibbering mess by the end of it. But there is enough to keep gentlemen entertained too: first you will be surprised that the story consists of more than boy-meets-girl, they dance, they kiss, they dance, end of holiday; second you get see Georgina Rich writhing around in all her curvy, girl-next-door, innocent-yet-dirty,-teenage-sexbomb, dancing, singing glory; third, if Georgina is too subtle for you, Nadine Coote spends a good part of the performance wearing something black and sprayed on; and if that isn't enough, she dances with Georgina Rich enough for you to delude yourself that it's girl-on-girl action.

So, in sort, it's not soft porn for women. It's soft porn for everyone. It's about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on; it's a sure-thing on a first date and it's going to run for about as long as testosterone and estrogen come packaged in boys and girls.

Dirty Dancing
Aldwych Theatre, London, WC2B 4DF
Phone 020 7279 3367
Tickets £25-£55 from ticketmaster on 0870 400 0805


Blogger sallywrites said...


Good blog. Have you thought of maybe having a different backgound though. Black backgrounds are hard to read and make people switch off! You might get more comments if you changed it, because more people would stay to read!! (Now you'll tell me that mine shouldn't be pink. Oh well. that might be fair too....)


Thursday, November 09, 2006 1:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the feedback Sally.

I have neglected this blog of late because I've been working on, and getting to know Word Press instead of Blogger.

I am now happy to say that I will be moving Universal Critic over to Wordpress, on my own server, soon, and I will change the look to a dark text/light background when I do.

Thursday, November 09, 2006 1:49:00 PM  
Blogger sallywrites said...

Why is Wordpress better?


Thursday, November 09, 2006 2:04:00 PM  
Blogger Damian said...

The main appeal for me is that it allows me to categorise posts under categories I invent myself, as well as date. (Blogger only lets me do dates).

The blogroll is easier to handle because it's done through a neat management interface.

The whole platform seems a little more stable - blogger falls over occasionally and it always seems to be when I want to post something.

I can do more clever things with formatting.

I can host it on my own server relatively easily, which makes me feel that I have more control over my own websites, and that I can back things up. I have heard a few horror stories about people's blogger sites just disappearing. I think alwaysarousedgirl had that problem earlier this year.

Thursday, November 09, 2006 2:28:00 PM  
Blogger Damian said...

Oh, and it monitors trackbacks, which is interesting. When you login to your blog you can see who had linked to you.

Thursday, November 09, 2006 2:29:00 PM  
Blogger sallywrites said...

That looks good. May have a look at it.


Thursday, November 09, 2006 3:24:00 PM  
Blogger sallywrites said...

Have you seen "Wicked" yet?

Monday, November 20, 2006 9:59:00 AM  
Blogger Damian said...

No I haven't. Have you?

A friend of mine does lighting for the big musicals. As you can imagine, she's seen a few. She says Wicked is the best she has ever seen.

Maybe we'll go after Christmas when life slows down a little. Very busy at the moment.

Monday, November 20, 2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger sallywrites said...

We're going on the 29th December!
BTW have you submitted your blog to "London Lite"?

You can send them to:

Have a look if you haven't already.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006 11:43:00 AM  
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