If you haven’t been to Melbourne recently or haven’t seen Strictly Ballroom at Her Majesty’s Theatre, then book your tickets and go see it. Better than the film (in my opinion), the Baz Lurhmann production and musical adaptation was fun and had me giggling from the get go.
The brilliant acting, gorgeous singing, clever set and fabulous story between a dance sport super star, Scott (Thomas Lacey), and the geeky dance beginner, Fran (Phoebe Panaretos), drew the audience in and kept them entertained for the entire show. Sick of being restricted by dance sport rules, Scott’s urge to dance his own steps sees him agree to partner with love-struck Fran. Fran’s Spanish family, after some resistance, embrace Scott’s love for dance and teach him to ‘feel the rhythm’ from deep within, as well as teach him captivating and powerful Spanish dancing. I don’t remember Spanish dancing in the film, so this was a wonderful surprise.
The first time Fran sung, I welled in up in tears. Her deep soulful voice had me mesmerised. I loved the broad Australian accents of the other characters and the entire sense of fun of the show right the way through until the end. Even though it was delightfully fun, it was also emotional and I found myself tearing up (with happy tears) several times, particularly towards the end.
Tip: If you go, try to get isle seats if you want a chance to get on stage with the cast and dance with half the audience in the closing song.
Keep an eye on the Strictly Ballroom Facebook page for specials on rush ticket – $45 is a bargain!
The show was fabulous, fun, feel good, and one I’d go to again without hesitation. I haven’t enjoyed a musical this much for years.
For a great pre-show dinner, head to Bomba on Londsdale Street.
Strictly Ballroom closes in Melbourne on August 9. It will play a limited season in Brisbane from September.