The producers of Strictly Ballroom the Musical, Baz Luhrmann’s 1992 hit about Australian dancers battling repression, have promised a sequin-clad extravaganza for the musical’s London debut.
“The costumes are very funny, very sexy and very colourful” says director of the show, Drew McOnie. “The costume design of the show is going to be unlike anything the West End has to offer at the moment.”
Up to 200,000 handcrafted diamantes, 4,000 ostrich feathers, 200 costumes and 5 litres of spray tan will be used in the production every week and McOnie has says that London audiences will be so close that “they can touch the ostrich feathers”
The new version of the show will be much more than just eye-catching visuals, however. McOnie says ‘You will experience all the Strictly ‘campery’ and then be unexpectedly punched in the heart” and the show’s producer, Carmen Pavlovic says: “It’s a relevant story about personal freedom and daring to be different”.
The original film tells the story of Scott Hastings, a champion ballroom dancer who sends shock wave racing through the Australian Dancing Federation when he begins eschews traditional dance routines in favour of his own moves. When his horrified dancing partner leaves him things begin to look bleak but his fortunes chsnge when he meets a new partner and love onterest. The film ends with the pair competing on their own terns at the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix Event.
Strictly Ballroom was a massive box office hit with the film responsible for catapulting Luhrmann to stardom with the director going on to work on such hits as Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge.
The story has been adapted on a number of occasions, with separate incarnations taking to the stage in Australia, Leed and Toronto. However Monie has promised that this version will be very different. “We want this theatre experience to have the same subversive anarchy of the film.” He says.
Strictly Ballroom The Musical will be on tour from September 2022. More information about the show can be found here.
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