The Dirty Dancing star postponed his debut after a chest infection caused him to miss rehearsals. At a press conference in June, Swayze – who originally trained as a ballet dancer - revealed concerns about facing London drama critics, who he’d heard can be vicious (See News, 1 Jun 2006). He said he expected his press night is “going to be like being shot out of a cannon… If you screw up, nobody can help you because it just moves too fast.”
Swayze stars alongside former Brookside actress Claire Sweeney as his long-suffering fiancé Miss Adelaide, as well as Adam Cooper and Kelly Price as Sky Masterson and Sarah Brown in Grandage’s version of Frank Loesser’s 1950 musical about New York gamblers and their girls.
While first night critics thought the heart-throb did a good job, all except one thought Swayze – and Sweeney – were outshone by their lesser-known co-stars. However, the toe-tapping fun of the production couldn’t help but get a general thumbs up.
- by Caroline Ansdell