Strictly Ballroom the Musical is the inspiring story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart. This uplifting and courageous tale originated as a stage play that Baz Luhrmann devised with a group of students at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) back in 1984.
Playing the pivotal roles of ‘Scott Hastings’ and ‘Fran’ will be Thomas Lacey and Phoebe Panaretos who will lead an outstanding Australian cast of 43 including Bob Baines as Les Kendall, Drew Forsythe as Doug Hastings, Natalie Gamsu as Ya Ya, Robert Grubb as Barry Fife, Fernando Mira as Rico, Heather Mitchell as Shirley Hastings and Mark Owen-Taylor as JJ Silvers.
This brand new theatrical production features the original creative team behind the classic 1992 film including director and co-writer Baz Luhrmann, set and costume designer Catherine Martin, choreographer John “Cha Cha” O’Connell and co-writer Craig Pearce, who will bring the iconic story to life on stage.
It will feature break-into-song numbers created from ‘original classics’ from the film, including Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps , and Time After Time as well as newly composed songs.
Following its first performances, Baz Luhrmann was invited to re-stage the play for the Czechoslovakian World Youth Drama Festival in Bratislava in 1986 where it won best production and Luhrmann best director. Then, after a preview season at the Brisbane Expo in 1988, the play opened at the Wharf Studios in Sydney.
Strictly Ballroom went on to become one of the most successful Australian films of all time, earning more than $80 million at the box office. Discovered at the Cannes Film Festival, it was winner of the Prix de Jeunnesse and runner up for the Palme D’Or. When released in Australia, Strictly Ballroom swept the field at the 1992 Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards, gaining 13 nominations and winning in eight major categories.
It was also a major success at the 1993 BAFTA awards, where it garnered eight nominations and won three awards for Best Costume Design, Best Original Film Score and Best Production Design. With the success of the film, its closing song, a remake of the John Paul Young song Love is in the Air, re-entered the Australian charts and became a Top 5 hit in October 1992.
Other accolades included a 1994 Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, Newcomer of the Year at the 1993 London Critics Circle Film Awards, the People’s Choice at the 1992 Toronto International Film Festival and Most Popular Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
“From a small student play to my first motion picture and now a full-blown theatrical stage musical, Strictly Ballroom has been an almost thirty year journey for me,” says Director, Baz Luhrmann.
“I have often marvelled at how this story, born so long ago, has been in my life for so many years and has managed to touch, move, entertain and uplift so many different people from so many different backgrounds.”
Be a part of history and experience the drama, the humour, the romance in the sparkling, sequined spectacular that inspired the world to dance – Strictly Ballroom.
Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star, Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont (Sydney)
Season: 25 March – 29 June 2014
Bookings: 1300 795 267 or online at: www.ticketmaster.com.au
For more information, visit: www.strictlyballroomthemusical.com for details
Image: Phoebe Panaretos (Fran) and Thomas Lacey (Scott Hastings) at the recent Strictly Sydney promotion on top of the Sydney Opera House