Will Young, Jonny Labey, and Zizi Strallen will head the cast of the London production of Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical, which begins previews March 16, 2018, at the Piccadilly Theatre prior to an official opening April 11.
Based on Luhrmann’s film of the same name, the production has a book by Luhrmann and Craig Pearce and direction and choreography by Drew McOnie.
Young will play the brand-new role of band leader Wally Strand. Young won the inaugural series of Pop Idol in 2001 and has enjoyed four No. 1 albums. He starred alongside Dame Judi Dench in the film Mrs. Henderson Presents and made his stage debut as the Emcee in the West End production of Cabaret.
Labey will make his West End debut in the role of Scott Hastings, the maverick ballroom dancer torn between his passion and his pride. Labey won the ITV show Dance Dance Dance and is well known for playing the role of Paul Coker in EastEnders.
Strallen will play the role of Fran, the fledgling dancer who partners with Scott and catches his eye following his fall from grace. She shot to stardom as the lead in Mary Poppins, and her additional West End credits include Follies, Cats, Dirty Dancing, Hairspray, and Chicago.
The three will be joined by 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. The cast also includes 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. The full cast is yet to be announced.
The musical concerns rogue championship ballroom dancer Scott, who “defies all the rules of competition to follow his heart, [and] 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.”
The production features music from the film, including “Love is in the Air,” “Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps,” and “Time After Time,” as well as songs from a host of internationally acclaimed artists. The musical also has 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, and orchestrations by Simon Hale.
The production originated in Australia, where it was created by Luhrmann and Catherine Martin.
Strictly Ballroom The Musical is produced by Global Creatures.