G’Day Poms. Sally Sequins here – I recently flew in from down under to get the low down on West Yorkshire Playhouse’s upcoming Christmas show, the UK premiere of Strictly Ballroom The Musical.
I’ll be hanging out here for a few months and giving you bits of backstage gossip about this fantastic musical, which the Playhouse is busy creating with those fine Aussie theatre makers, Global Creatures.
This week, I popped down to London to watch the bright young things who’ll be performing in the show and starting rehearsals up in Leeds come October.
I was shivering in anticipation to see how this fabulously fun film would feel and sound on the stage- and I’ve got to tell you I wasn’t disappointed.
Here’s a sneak peek of the UK premiere of Strictly Ballroom The Musical in five, easily digestible and delectable bites.
1) Hit numbers from the movie come to life when they’re sung
“If you fall I will catch you, I will be waiting” promises Scott as he teaches Fran her first rumba set to the hit song Time after Time.
Later, Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps takes on a new meaning as Fran warns Scott to commit fully to their dance steps – and her – or all will be lost.
“If you can’t make your mind up we’ll never get started. And I don’t want to wind up being parted, broken hearted.” Sob!
2) The pressure to ‘dance the right steps’ is on – like really on!
The world of ballroom dancing is tough. Right from the first number all our couples are twirling and tangoing in a glamorous, glittering pressure cooker. Thank goodness superstar choreographer Drew McOnie is directing.
“When you’re STRICTLY BALLROOM, life is perfect all the time. Obey the regulations and you’ll climb” they anxiously sing.
Of course, according to Ballroom bully and Head of the Dance Federation, Barry Fife, you’ll need a copy of his ‘Dance to win’ video tape to perfect the moves.
3) It brings some Australian sparkle to Yorkshire
Movies like Strictly Ballroom and Muriel’s Wedding have that special brand of Aussie humour that warms the heart.
I couldn’t help cackling at the original dancing drunk Ken Railings, flashing his pearly whites and announcing- ‘I’m on a whisky diet- I’ve lost three days already.’
Then there’s Ballroom barbie Tina Sparkles who pins Scott’s chest with her stilettoed heel and warns that if he’s going to be her partner, he’s going to practice till he pukes.
4) It made me want to dance!
I’m no Gemma Sutton (our leading lady who’s playing Fran) but this show got me moving. First it was Tina Sparkles gliding through the air in her stunning solo then Scott and Fran’s romantic rumba… My toes were tapping, my legs were twitching – I had to get my sequins out and have a twirl when I got home.
5) Scott and Fran fall truly, madly, deeply
Let’s talk about the chemistry… Fran blossoms from a ditzy wallflower into a sizzling star while Scott wrestles with the impossible choice between his passion for Fran and loyalty to his family. I couldn’t take my eyes of the smouldering couple.
Right – that’s all for now folks – I’ll be keeping an eye on things over the next few months and will keep all you guys and Sheilas up to date with the goings-on
If you like Moulin Rouge and you love Baz Luhrman – you won’t want to Paso (Doble) your chance to see Strictly Ballroom The Musical.