Musician’s Union set to campaign at Northampton theatre to raise awareness for lack of live music in Dirty Dancing show

Royal & Derngate, Northampton
Royal & Derngate, Northampton

The Musicians’ Union (MU) is set to host a demonstration at a Northampton theatre prior to the performance of Dirty Dancing to highlight the lack of live music in the show.

The current production at the Royal and Derngate has been dubbed the ‘ultimate live experience’, and the MU say that the show features more recorded music and fewer live musicians than previous tours.

It is understood that an unauthorised recording, made outside of the UK, is being used in this performance and is instead only using five live musicians, as opposed to eight or ten in previous shows.

Horace Trubridge, MU Assistant General Secretary said: “In a musical, live musicians are a fundamental part of the show; for quality, audience enjoyment and value for money.

“The MU fought for more live music in the current production of Dirty Dancing, but the producer refused and therefore we believe the all-important musical element of the show is compromised.

“Returning fans keen to see this show based on their enjoyment of previous tours may be disappointed to witness the apparent cost-cutting changes that have been made. The MU believes that live theatre should be just that – live.”

The demonstration will take place in Northampton on Monday, October 31 and the will be the eighth demonstration since the show began touring in August 2016.

James, an MU member who attended one of the MU’s Dirty Dancing demonstrations, said: “Live music in the theatre is a precious source of income for many musicians in all genres and adds huge value to any experience of the theatre. I feel it’s important that nobody takes it for granted and the MU fights hard to protect it.

“Most people we spoke to at the demo seemed quite taken aback at the lack of live music in such a music-orientated show, and were happy to listen to our concerns.”