Will Young, Jonny Labey and Zizi Strallen will lead the cast of Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical when it makes its West End debut in 2018. Based on Baz Luhrmann’s classic film that inspired the world to dance, Strictly Ballroom The Musical begins performances at London’s Piccadilly Theatre on Friday 16 March 2018, with a press night on Wednesday 11 April.
Will Young will play the brand new role of band leader, Wally Strand. Ever since winning the inaugural series of Pop Idol in 2001, Will has been one of the UK’s most popular and successful music artists. He holds the record for the fastest selling debut single in British chart history, and has enjoyed a phenomenal career in music with four No1 albums, as well as acting alongside Dame Judi Dench in the film Mrs Henderson Presents, and his hugely acclaimed stage debut as the Emcee in the West End production of Cabaret.
Jonny Labey will make his West End debut in the leading role of Scott Hastings, the maverick ballroom dancer torn between his passion and his pride. Jonny burst into the national spotlight by winning the ITV show Dance Dance Dance. Jonny, well known for playing the role of Paul Coker in EastEnders, has also starred in the film Soft Lad, headlined the play Verge of Strife, and can currently be seen as a new judge on CBBC’s Taking The Next Step.
Zizi Strallen will play the role of Fran, the fledgling dancer who partners with Scott and catches his eye following his fall from grace. Having shot to stardom as the lead in Mary Poppins, Zizi’s additional West End credits include Follies, Cats, Dirty Dancing, Hairspray and Chicago.
The cast also features: Michelle Bishop (Thoroughly Modern Milly, Sunset Boulevard) as Pam Short, Ivan De Freitas (Jesus Christ Superstar, Aladdin) as Merv, Gabriela Garcia (In The Heights, Ghost) as Vanessa Cronin, Charlotte Gooch (Top Hat, Dirty Dancing) as Tina Sparkle, Richard Grieve (Neighbours, Emmerdale and Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as Les Kendall, Liam Marcellino (Cabaret, Miss Saigon) as Wayne Burns, Stephen Matthews (The Lion King, The Producers) as Doug Hastings, Fernando Mira (ENO, Victorian State Opera) as Rico, Eve Polycarpou (Villa Thalia, In The Heights) as Abuela, Lauren Stroud (Top Hat, Hairspray) as Liz Holt and Gary Watson (Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be, A Chorus Line, Jersey Boys) as Ken Railings.
They’re joined by Chris Bennett, Chrissy Brooke, Hannah Fairclough, Selina Hamilton, Christopher D Hunt, Luke Jackson, Justin-Lee Jones, Robin Kent, Jacob Maynard, Leanne Pinder, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda and Dale White. Further castint to be announced.
Strictly Ballroom is the romantic story that was embraced around the world, and went on to put the Strictly into Come Dancing! Based on the multi-award-winning movie, the first instalment from Baz Luhrmann’s acclaimed Red Curtain Trilogy, the musical production is a kaleidoscope of colour and fun. When rogue championship ballroom dancer Scott defies all the rules of competition to follow his heart, he teams up with left-footed partner Fran to compete in the Pan Pacific Championship his own way. Their love blossoms as their routines flourish, and together they triumph in bringing down the sequin-clad regime of the Dance Federation.
Featuring the film’s iconic music such as Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps and Time After Time, Strictly Ballroom The Musical will also include electrifying songs from a host of internationally acclaimed artists.
The production originated in Australia where it was created by Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin. Drew McOnie (whose dazzling choreography for In the Heights earned him the 2016 Olivier Award) will direct and choreograph the West End premiere, with a book by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce.
Strictly Ballroom The Musical is produced by Global Creatures the team behind Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular, Muriel’s Wedding The Musical and the Broadway-bound King Kong and Moulin Rouge! The Musical.