Ones To Watch 2023 – INTERVIEW – Dirty Dancing

It is that time of the year where we celebrate the acts that you need to keep an eye on in 2023. It is an exciting time of the year as it means we can talk to acts to find out what they have in store for audiences and what you can look forward to in the new year. Today we speak to Michael O’Reilly who plays Johnny in the West End version of Dirty Dancing. The musical is set to return to the theatre this year at the Dominion Theatre between the 21st January to the 29th April. I wanted to find out all about it. To purchase tickets and find out more click here.

Hello tell us all about yourself?

Hey guys, my name is Michael O’Reilly. I am 25 and will be reprising my role as Johnny in Dirty Dancing at the Dominion Theatre in 2023. 

Tell us a little bit about the show you are bringing to the stage in 2023?

We will be bringing Dirty Dancing back to the Dominion Theatre after having the theatre’s best season in 15 years! We are so excited to be back on stage and to be having the time of our lives! 

How are rehearsals going?

We haven’t started rehearsals yet, but you can guarantee they are going to be sweaty! Learning the classic dances, iconic songs and bringing these beloved characters to life! 

Why are audiences going to enjoy this show?

We stay very true to the original movie. I believe that the themes of Dirty Dancing are timeless and are still very relevant for a modern audience, so it doesn’t need to be reinvented. We honour what has come before whilst also trying to bring our own unique interpretations.

How do you warm up before a show?

Before the company warms up, I will do my own vocal and physical warm up. Really easy dynamic stretches to get the body going and using a SOVT exercise to go through my vocal range. After this I listen to interviews of Patrick to get into his voice and physicality. Then I head down and join the team.

What is your favourite thing about being part of this show?

Not only do I get to perform opposite the love of my life and fall in love with her every night, I get to share that with thousands of people through this wonderful story. People grew up watching Dirty Dancing and for many it has a lot of emotional significance, so for us doing that justice and honouring the truth of these characters is very important. 


What styles do you hope to see more of in theatre this year?

I’d love to see some classical musical theatre return to the West End; West Side Story, Into The Woods, Parade. But on the other hand, I would also love to see new work and fresh interpretations. Anything Jamie Lloyd has directed I will go and see. I watched Cyrano and The Seagull last year and they blew me away!

What show is your one to watch in 2023 and why?

I would love to go and see Oklahoma! I’m sure that’s going to be a blast. 

Do you have any new year’s resolutions? If so, what are they?

I’m not really a New Year’s resolution type of guy. For me, having a goal to move towards is important to keep me on track for all of the daily training I am doing. So, I’m constantly updating and keeping myself motivated. if I only did that once a year, I think I’d find it impossible to stick to my daily habits.

Three words why people should come and see you this year?



and obviously 



The movie or television show you are looking forward to seeing this year?


Your favourite book?

The Wheel of Time

One thing you will always remember about 2022?

Making my West End debut.

If you could paint anything, what would you paint? 

The hanging gardens of Babylon 

What is the most delightful word you can think of?


Favourite album?

One Way Train – Righteous Indigo


Where would you love to go on holiday this year?

New Zealand


What is your favourite quote from a television show?

‘How you doinnnn?’

Who is your favourite film character and why?

Aragorn – Because he is an absolute badass and I am a huge Lord of the Rings nerd.

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