MEET SCOTT HASTINGS. BALLROOM DANCER. FUTURE CHAMPION. REBEL.
When Scott’s radical dance moves raise eyebrows with the Australian Federation, he finds himself dancing with Fran, a beginner who has no moves at all. Inspiring each other, the couple find the courage to defy both convention and their families – and discover that to be a winner, your steps don’t need to be strictly ballroom…
I can’t make up my mind whether you need to see the film or not before seeing this.
Either go in prepared for the amazing madness of sequins, fake tan, crazy over the top Australian accents and amazing ballroom or you can go in and be slapped in the face by all at once?
Either way to be honest I think you will love it so I suppose it doesn’t really matter.
It’s Strictly ballroom.
From the costumes to the Dancing it’s everything I could have hoped for in the stage version of one of my favourite films.
I had high expectations for this show and wow did it deliver, I had a smile on my face the whole way through.
From the moment the curtain goes up to the moment it falls, you are blinded by the glitz and glamour of the ballroom world, from the comedy and over the top acting, to the dancing, the amazing dancing. It creates this amazing world that I didn’t want to leave.
It’s a love story that I want to follow.
Jonny Labey plays Scott Hastings, a pro dancer but who just wants to dance his own steps, he wants to break the mould.
Jonny plays this character perfectly from his amazing dancing to his acting, he makes you fall in love with Scott, you feel the frustration, the want, the need to dance, to dance his way.
I have to admit that I only knew Jonny from Eastenders so I was unaware of his theatre and dance background, I went in blind and came out amazed, his talent speaks for itself, I could watch him dance all day.
The same can be said for Zizi Strallen, she is the perfect fit for the character of Fran (just Fran). She brings passion and vulnerability to the character, she doesn’t steer to far away from the original that everyone knows but somehow she still manages to make the performance her own so that people who don’t know the film can love her too.
With her perfect dance moves and great chemistry with Jonny it is beautiful to watch.
I have to say though I think my favourite character, they were all amazing but it has to be Shirley Hastings played by Anna Francolini, she is brilliant, she has the humour and the dramatics and the costumes. Anna plays the perfect Shirley Hastings, from start to finish she commanded the stage.
She plays the perfect over bearing mother who just wants what’s best for her, I mean her son.
I also can’t write this review without mentioning Fernando Mira who plays Rico (Frans father). The Paso Doble in this show is mesmerising, he is amazing and I think I will say it’s my favourite part of the musical.
You see him trying to teach Scott (with a little help from Abuela, also played wonderfully by Eve Polycarpou) to dance with his heart and with passion.
It’s a wonderfully choreographed scene which Fernando does beautifully.
Drew McOnie (choreographer) really knows how to create a scene and make full use of the stage with his routines and the dancers really show that off. There is a whole lot of talent in this show.
Unfortunately Will Young was unable to perform in the performance I saw, so instead we had Ivan De Freitas in the role of Wally Strand.
This is a new character to the show and is brought in to help narrate the story and keeps us on the right path of this wonderful, crazy story.
Ivan did a superb job, with vocals that amazed, singing all the 80’s classics (with some new) he really got the audience going.
This show really is fun, it’s a light-hearted feel good show that I would definitely recommend. Whether you have watched the original film or not, it’s worth going to see.
It’s old and new mixed together and it’s perfect.
With a hugely talented cast it’s not one to be missed.
Just be prepared to have you mind blown with the craziness and wonder-fullness that is Strictly Ballroom!
Big thank you to London Box Office for giving me the wonderful opportunity to see Strictly Ballroom.
If you would like to purchase tickets for Strictly Ballroom visit: www.londonboxoffice.co.uk
It’s currently playing at The Piccadilly Theatre.