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All About Theatre Three and a half star review

Strictly Ballroom The Musical is based on the 1992 Baz Luhrmann movie of the same name. This production of the musical has been directed & Co-Choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood who is best known for being a judge on the hit BBC1 show strictly Come Dancing.

On press night at the Lowry the show had a few technical issues which lead to us being let in to the auditorium quite late and there was also a 15 minute show stop just after the first number. Once the show restarted though everything seemed to rum smoothly but you could tell that some of the cast looked a little nervous at first when the show restarted. There were also five cast changes on the night I viewed the show and although the understudy's did a good job it just felt like the show just didn't really flow very well, I don't know if this was something to do with the fact that there were so many understudy's on that night or if the show is always like that.

Strictly ballroom production shot  Fran

The musical is set in Australia and tells the story of ballroom dancer Scott Hastings, Scott craves the freedom to dance his own moves but it is not permitted in the dance competition rules. At the championship competition Scott decides to dance his own moves which angers federation head Barry Fife, who disqualifies Scott and his partner Liz from the competition leading to Ken Rawlings & Pam Shorts taking the win. Scott's dance partner Liz later dumps Scott to dance Ken Rawlings as his dance partner Pam broke both her legs in a car accident. As the Pan pacific Grand Prix looms Scott's mum Shirly and Coach Les start hunting for a new dance partner for him.

Strictly ballroom production shot Scott & Fran

Scott's mum Shirly and coach Les teach ballroom dancing at Shirly's studio, one of the "beginners" at the studio named Fran likes the way Scott dances his own way and approaches him about becoming his dance partner. Scott eventually agrees as he is intrigued by her willingness to dance his way. Meanwhile Barry Fife has arranged for Scott to partner with champion dance Tina Sparkle. Scott has to choose weather to dance with Fran or with champion dancer Tina.

Strictly ballroom production shot Scott & Fran

One of the things which I feel lets the musical down is the songs as they just weren't very memorable, I can't actually remember any of the original songs which feature in the show. As well as original songs the show does feature some well-known songs that were in the movie such as time after time and love is in the air and it is these songs which were the highlights in the show.

the set was actually quite nice when you first walked in it definitely draws your eye to it with all the lights and sparkle, it doesn't change much throughout the show but props are used to indicate a change in location and there's also a screen at the back which would change to represent that they are in different places so I thought the set

was good. The costumes were beautiful, the gorgeous Ballroom costumes were brightly coloured with glitter and sequins and just looked stunning

The best thing about this show has to be the dancing the choreography in the show is excellent especially in the group dance numbers. One of my favourite scenes in the show happens at the end of act one when Scott visit's Frans Family at the bar and they dance the Pasodoble, this results in the entire cast getting involved in the dance and it was just a great high energy routine which was just wonderful to watch.

Strictly ballroom production shot

Stand out performance for me came from Faye Brookes as Fran she definitely stole the show for me I thought her portrayal of Fran was so good I just love the way she played

her as quite Meek and nerdy and I thought she had great comedic timing. Faye's voice is beautiful and she really shined when she sang Frans solo ballad, her dancing was also just excellent. I have to say Kevin Clifton who played Scott his dancing is amazing, obviously he's a professional dancer he's been on Strictly but his singing was surprisingly quite good I wasn't expecting him to be as good as singer as he was considering that's not his profession I thought he did really well.

Strictly ballroom production shot Scott & Fran

I did enjoy Strictly Ballroom the musical I think it is a fun night out but I do thing there are a few things that let the show down such as the original songs which just weren't memorable and for me the songs in a musical are really important so for that reason I am rating Strictly ballroom Three and a Half Stars.

Strictly Ballroom The Musical is on at The Lowry until 1st July you can purchase tickets by clicking on the button below.

If you would like more information about the musical and see where it will be touring to please click the button below.

*Our tickets for this show were kindly gifted in exchange for an honest review


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