Fun, flirty and a whole lot of glitter! Strictly Ballroom The Musical has arrived at the Wales Millennium Centre and we were lucky enough to be invited along to see it.
I knew very little about this show going in and so I had no idea what to expect. The story follows young, ambitious ballroom dancer Scott Hastings, who’s unconventional dance moves lands him in a lot of trouble with the Australian Federation. Desperate to find a new partner before the big dance competition, amateur dancer Fran stumbles into his life and the two of them must fight from every corner to dance the way they want.
This show is everything you’d want in a fun night at the theatre. Light-hearted, funny and more sequins and sparkly wigs than you can count. The whole cast were brilliant! Unfortunately, Kevin Clifton was not performing on opening night (or on the 24th) but Edwin Ray did a spectacular job portraying Scott Hastings and danced his way into the audiences hearts. Now it’s not easy to pretend to be bad at something you’re not, but that’s exactly what EastEnders’ star Maisie Smith as Fran, did. Such an incredible dancing and singing talent but we watched her characters grow and learn on stage, into becoming a show-stopper. Maisie Smith and Edwin Ray showed such powerful chemistry on stage. The audience was on the edge of their seats watching this whirl-wind romance.
Other special mentions have to go to the rest of this very talented cast. Nikki Belster as Shirley Hastings, Mark Sangster as Doug Hastings, Gary Davis as Barry Fife, Quinn Patrick as Les Kendall, Oliver Brooks as JJ Silvers, Jose Agudo as Rico, Karen Mann as Abuela, Hollie Jane Stephens as Vanessa, Benjamin Harrold as Ken, Jessica Vaux as Charm, Stylianos Thomadakis as Wayne, Agnes Pure as Tina Sparkle, Adam Davidson as Nathan, Poppy Blackledge as Pam, Liv Alexander as Liz, as well as an incredible ensemble cast.
The staging for this show was fabulous, it felt like we were at the Strictly Come Dancing Ballroom. The simple set allowed for some vibrant, lively dance numbers of a range of different types of ballroom styles. Featuring some of your favourite hit songs such as ‘Love Is In The Air’, ‘Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps’ and ‘Time After Time’, and all new music written by internationally acclaimed artists including Sia, David Foster and Eddie Perfect.
Strictly Ballroom The Musical is directed and co-choreographed by Britain’s best loved TV Judge, Craig Revel Horwood (also co-choreographed by Jason Gilkison). Craig has created a show that warmed the hearts of the audiences, leaving them smiling and tapping their feet all the way home.
The way that Craig was able to combine traditional ballroom numbers and classic musical theatre was astonishing. With a storyline and numbers mirroring West Side Story and Dirty Dancing, but with the twist of the ballroom world. I haven’t seen anything like it before.
It’s an incredible night of laughter, toe-tapping music and show-stopping dance numbers. Join the cast under the glitter ball for a night to remember.
Strictly Ballroom The Musical is at the Wales Millennium Centre until the 28th January, so get your tickets now!
All photo credits to Ellie Kurttz