The house lights dimmed and hundreds of excitable, chattering, squealing children fell silent. And the magic began.
On stage appeared a princess, albeit with a broom, who looked out over the audience and said “Hello there. I’m in my princess costume.” And the youngsters, especially those in their similar, fancy dress, were hooked.
This is not my first Dirty Dancing experience – I was lucky enough to be at the West End Premiere many years ago and I can honestly say, it hasn’t lost its charm (I actually believe it’s better than the original West End production) and is a wonderful tribute to the fantastic film we all know and love.
Manchester is positively thriving at the moment with the Manchester International Festival dotting around the city centre's outside spaces, the Greater Manchester Fringe in full swing in theatres everywhere and Flare International Festival of New Theatre showcasing brand new never seen before shows and it's the later that interests me.
The Swing Commanders are a five-piece band who play songs from the 40s and 50s but put their own unique stamp on them.
That description doesn't do enough justice to their vibrant, energetic, personality-driven performance which is warm, enthusiastic and really quite awe inspiring.
Manchester has always had a strong relationship with America from the days of the cotton trade to the infamous ‘Judas’ episode when Dylan played the Free Trade Hall and through to Chicago producers influencing aciiiiid house tunes at the Hacienda.
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