Strictly Ballroom the Musical
| By Laura Franek
Baz Luhrmann’s beloved and award-winning 1992 film, Strictly Ballroom has been adapted into a glorious, feel-good musical, now showing at London’s Piccadilly Theatre, directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie. Featuring stars Jonny Labey, Zizi Strallen and Will Young, with a charming company of gorgeous performers that bring over 40 classic chart hits to life, the show sparkles with warmth and vitality that will have you singing and dancing out of your seats and onto London’s streets!
Will Young plays Wally Strand, our host for the evening’s delights, who guides us through Scott (Labey) and Fran’s (Strallen) modern day Cinderella story with many a song and cheeky remark. The character is a new addition to previous productions of Strictly Ballroom, set to tighten the narrative and allow the actors to focus on the energetic dance numbers. Young seems well suited to the role, his character and performance emulating his appearance as the Emcee in the 2013 production of Cabaret, as he joins the onstage band to serenade scenes in a jazz cabaret setting.
The true heart of the piece lies with the charm and chemistry of Labey and Strallen’s love story. Gorgeously danced and acted, the brief moments of their sensational singing left us aching to hear more, as the unlikely dance duo defy all odds to reach ballroom greatness. Meanwhile, an array of colourfully bedazzled costumes adorn the ensemble as they swish and swirl the set across the stage, pumping beauty and vitality into dance numbers from the ballroom competition to the streets of Fran’s neighbourhood.
Fans of the movie will not be disappointed, as McOnie’s production follows faithfully to the film in plot and dialogue, and the audience will find themselves clapping and dancing along with delight. A real feel-good night of theatre, be sure to catch this sequinned success!
Strictly Ballroom The Musical is currently booking until 20 October. You can book your Strictly Ballroom tickets here.