Strictly Ballroom May As Well Rebrand As Will Young The Musical
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The Will Young Show — or rather, Strictly Ballroom. It’s the musical based on Baz Luhrmann’s 1992 film about a boy daring to dance his own steps in the cut-throat world of amateur ballroom dancing. It is superfluously narrated by Will Young. He’s also the band leader singing all the songs. And hanging around onstage all the time. It’s enough to make you think you’re watching Will Young The Musical. Too bad his light vocals are often lost in the theatre. And the decision to over-amplify everything makes it sound like he’s singing karaoke.
On the other hand Jonny Labey and Zizi Strallen in the lead roles as the unlikely dance couple give the show style and pizzazz. There is also a thrilling paso doble dance sequence to close the first act. The show builds up to the competition finale. Will the hero follow his heart and dance his own steps? It’s hard to tell since it’s all squandered by a cheesy finale that doesn’t even involve Labey and Strallen. They just stand at the back watching, perplexed like the rest of us. In the end you might be on your feet dancing. But not sure why.
Strictly Ballroom, Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, W1D 7DY, £15-£129, until 20 October 2018.
Last Updated 19 September 2018