‘Brash, bold, bonkers & a little flawed’: STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL – West End ★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by Caroline Hanks-FarmerLeave a Comment

Piccadilly Theatre, London

Full of high energy and dazzling costumes, there is no denying that there has been a huge amount of attention to detail in this production. However, there are elements of this show I really struggled with and can absolutely see why it may not be to everyone’s taste.

The show, in my opinion, requires some further refinement, at times appearing chaotic and almost shambolic, with the stage just not big enough to accommodate the cast and scenery. Some of the Australian accents also seem to travel. I’ve swayed massively on my star rating. That said we at CarnsTheatrePassion are all about positively and at the end of the day, I left with my heart full of joy and a massive smile on my face, feeling thoroughly entertained and this is the reason why I fell on the generous side.

The lead Jonny Labey as Scott does not put a foot wrong, rarely leaving the stage, the sense of power and dynamite ability there for all to see. Equally matched as always by the incomparable Zizi Strallen as “beginner dancer” Fran. The parallels with Dirty Dancing were at times brought to the forefront of my mind and indeed why shouldn’t they be? Full of nostalgia and a slew of hit numbers sung by Will Young. Talking of Young whose role seemed to be superfluous to proceedings at times and even awkward. Whilst I have no issue with the delivery, I’m not sure if his movement added value. As I’ve previously stated, this is a large production, with little room, and at times collision was inevitable.

Comedy performances are in huge supply here, none more so than the ‘President Trump’ looking Barry Fife played by Gerard Horan. Whilst some of the sexist commentary would make you cringe, it is the delivery that reminds you that this is of the era. Other laughs are provided by Anna Francolini, Richard Grieve, Gabriela Garcia and Ivan De Freitas. Charlotte Gooch does indeed sparkle as Tina Sparkle and dances beautifully with Gary Watson.

Returning to the story this show of course is called Strictly Ballroom and the choreography as expected by Drew McOnie is simply sublime. The outstanding cast deliver it with grace and talent and superbly showcase what this production is all about.

In Summary

Lovers of the film should adore this show, with its full-on dance competition circuit glamour. It has all the sparkle and dazzling choreography you’d wish to see and the cast are superb. For me there were fundamental flaws but that did not deter me from immensely enjoying it. If anything I’d say they need a bigger space to really do it justice. Its brash, bold and bonkers but oh such enjoyable fun!

STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL – LISTINGS INFORMATION

CREATIVE TEAM

Created by Baz Luhrmann

Book by Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce

Directed & Choreographed by Drew McOnie

Set Design by Soutra Gilmour

Costume Design by Catherine Martin

Lighting Design by Howard Hudson

Sound Design by Gareth Owen

Musical Supervision by David Caddick

Orchestrations by Simon Hale

ADDRESS

Piccadilly Theatre

16 Denman Street

London

W1D 7DY

SEASON DATES

First performance: Thursday 29th March 2018

BOOKING ONLINE

www.strictlyballroomthemusical.com

PERFORMANCE TIMES

Monday – Saturday: 7.30pm

Matinees: Wednesday & Saturday, 2.30pm

TICKETS

Prices from £15

TELEPHONE BOOKING

0844 871 7630

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook: StrictlyBallroomTheMusical

Twitter: @strictlystage

Instagram: StrictlyBallroomTheMusical

 

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Caroline Hanks-Farmer
Having been a performer for many years, Caroline knows first hand how much the support of a good audience is valued, appreciated and needed. She is passionate about all performing art, but has a particular interest in new writing and Off-West End productions. Having reviewed for other publications, she set up her website, Carn’s Theatre Passion, to provide more exposure for these areas, as well as news, views, interviews and information on all stage-related matters.
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Caroline Hanks-Farmer on FacebookCaroline Hanks-Farmer on InstagramCaroline Hanks-Farmer on LinkedinCaroline Hanks-Farmer on PinterestCaroline Hanks-Farmer on RssCaroline Hanks-Farmer on TwitterCaroline Hanks-Farmer on Youtube
Caroline Hanks-Farmer
Having been a performer for many years, Caroline knows first hand how much the support of a good audience is valued, appreciated and needed. She is passionate about all performing art, but has a particular interest in new writing and Off-West End productions. Having reviewed for other publications, she set up her website, Carn’s Theatre Passion, to provide more exposure for these areas, as well as news, views, interviews and information on all stage-related matters.

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