Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

HMT Dirty Dancing star shares memories of mobsters, bleating lambs and a failed fringe show

Dirty Dancing on Stage is touring across the UK - and West End star Mark McKerracher cannot wait to return to Aberdeen.

Mark McKerracher playing Max Kellerman in Dirty Dancing.
Mark McKerracher plays resort boss Max Kellerman in Dirty Dancing. Image: Dirty Dancing on Stage.

When Dirty Dancing actor Mark McKerracher last hit an Aberdeen stage, he mostly remembers waking up to the bleating and smell of lambs at 6am.

Starring in the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the time, Mark’s other guests at his accommodation were early risers.

However, the West End star seems to have loved it.

“It was great,” said Mark, who is soon to be bringing the old-school boss Max Kellerman to His Majesty’s Theatre for the popular theatre production Dirty Dancing.

Mark McKerracher playing Max Kellerman
Mark McKerracher plays Max Kellerman in the production. Images: Dirty Dancing on Stage.

“I stayed in a real working farm and I had lambs bleating by my window at six in the morning.

“I did really like it and I love the countryside there, it’s just beautiful.”

Fond memories of Scotland

Originally hailing from Pasadena, Mark holds many fond memories of Scotland, including sneaking into the Edinburgh Fringe Festival parade in 1984 with a two-man show.

Unfortunately the audience members were usually outnumbered but apparently it got a good write up in The Scotsman.

Another link is through his Scottish grandparents who met thanks to an overcoat and a mobster killing. But more on that later.

The American-born actor is donning a Brooklyn accent for his role as Max Kellerman, the boss of an upstate holiday resort set in the Catskills.

Based on the much-beloved film, Dirty Dancing follows the story of 17-year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman as she becomes mesmerised by “pounding rhythms”, dance moves and one of the resort’s dance instructors, Johnny Castle.

Michael O'Reilly and Kira Malou playing Jonny Castle and Frances 'Baby' Houseman for Dirty Dancing on Stage, coming to aberdeen
Michael O’Reilly is playing Johnny Castle and Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is being played by Kira Malou.

Dirty Dancing is about a freedom movement

Describing it as a clash between the 50s and 60s, Mark said it was a story with many layers.

“It’s a great sort of morality story of someone being misunderstood,” he said.

“There’s a lot of very strong dramatic things happening in the show which all somehow manage to work out because these people are all decent in the end.”

In the on-stage production, many moments that “shook the world” such as Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech and the shooting of John F Kennedy are featured.

Remembering witnessing them as a child, Mark added: “These moments were very poignant moments but also defined what would happen next which was the freedom movement which was so incredibly important.

“That’s kind of what Dirty Dancing is about, it’s about a freedom movement which I really love.”

Hopes to mingle with Aberdonians and explore Scottish roots

The stage actor said he is looking forward to returning to the Granite city for cream teas, whisky and mingling with locals.

Although, he added accents on both sides could prove a cultural barrier, despite his own grandparents being from Scotland; they met in the 1800s when his Falkirk-born grandfather, William McKerracher, was laying low from mobsters.

Max McKerracher
Mark McKerracher.

His grandfather was known for his skills in gold leafing at the time and decorated many shops and balustrades for wealthy train magnates in Chicago.

One day, a colleague was working outside in a “particularly cold winter” so he offered him his overcoat.

Mark said: “They found that overcoat on a body (not his friend) and it was linked to a killing by some gangsters.

“And of course it had his name in there… and he had to get out of town so he came back to Scotland.”

Giving people something they can ‘go nuts for’ in a time of uncertainty

Ever since Mark’s mum pushed him into theatre aged 10 to get him out of the house, he has enjoyed many momentous highlights on stage.

Some of these include Mark taking on the prestigious role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables on Broadway and the West End, to breaking the record for the highest attended show in Scottish theatre history as the Phantom for Phantom of the Opera at the Edinburgh Playhouse.

However, he said the magic of Dirty Dancing has been a “completely unique experience”.

Dirty Dancing scene on stage
Mark McKerracher said audience’s “go nuts” for the production.

At times, he admitted the audience’s rowdiness reminds him more of Chippendales than a world-class production, but by the end everyone is singing and dancing together.

“After the show, the roar of happiness leaving the theatre is extraordinary,” he said.

“There’s something extremely magical and healing about it. Especially after the couple of years we’ve had in this country.

“I think people are feeling a little apprehensive right now.

“And so I felt like we’re kind of doing a service giving them something they can go nuts at – but hopefully just at the end.”

The show will be at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen from October 17 to October 21. For information and tickets visit or call 01224 641122.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Maxim’s Eroica Music set for Aberdeen’s Music Hall