The problem with Strictly Ballroom the Musical

Last night I finally got a chance to see Strictly Ballroom the Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre in London. If I’m honest, I had been avoiding it for as long as possible as the idea of a ballroom inspired musical wasn’t an appealing thought. But boy was I wrong.

It is actually one of the best things I have probably seen this year. Eastenders star Jonny Labey, triple threat Strallen sister (when I grow up I want to be a Strallen) Zizi and X Factor winner Matt Cardle are all equally brilliant. Choreography by Drew McOnie is stunning and it is a hilariously camp and fun show.

I think the problem is, like me, people see the name of the show (if they aren’t familiar with the film like I wasn’t) and think it’s going to be like watching Strictly Come Dancing on TV on a Saturday night. The thought of watching two and a half hours of ballroom dancing makes me instantly want to go to sleep. But whilst the show might be centred around this subject, it is so much more than just a show about dancing.

The audience were laughing in the aisles for the entire show and the bright, colourful costumes were a real delight. The jukebox style show, gives us pop hits from over the years sung by Matt Cardle, who not only delivers great vocals but also is pretty good at acting and even has the Australian accent down well (testament to a great dialect coach Gemma May Maddock).

So don’t be put off by the name of the show. I can’t recommend seeing the show more highly and as I left the theatre I had to stop myself from buying tickets to see the show again today (I am still considering going to the matinee today because I can’t get enough). Check it out!


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