Those of you who’ve listened to me on the radio over the years or read my online posts know I love live theatre, especially musicals! Whether it’s a classic like The Sound Of Music, Phantom Of the Opera or Cabaret, a juke box musical like Mamma Mia or We Will Rock You or even one of the new originals like Wicked.
I’m not sure what class Baz Lurhrmann’s stage adaption of his hit 1992 film Strictly Ballroom fits into, but suffice to say it was it was excellent!
The production at the Lyric Theatre was visually stunning and the costumes designed by Oscar winner, Catherine Martin, are so fabulous and over the top that they’d be snapped up by anyone wanting a crowd pleaser at next year’s Mardi Gras!
After a somewhat slow start the show warms up within 30 minutes and I’m completely won over, especially by the lead actor Thomas Lacy who plays Scott.
His dad, veteran actor, Drew Forsythe, is also mesmerising as he dances around the set by himself reminiscing about his past.
Special mention too for Robert Grubb who played the conflicted dance federation boss. Barry Fife; his stage-craft is brilliant. (You might remember him from his staring role in the hit TV show The Flying Doctors.)
Phoebe Panaretos also does a great job playing the forgotten girl who eventually wins Scott’s heart,
Musically speaking the new songs were good, especially the brilliant, flamenco driven “Leap of Faith” and the sweet “Beautiful Surprise”, but most of the others were overshadowed by two classic songs Time After Time and the shows signature tune Love Is In The Air.
The sets were stunning in typical Lurhmann style, encompassing everything from austere shopfronts to over the top colours, mirror balls and mind blowing lighting.
If you get the chance, go and see this show. Not just because we need to support live theatre in this country, but because this is a fantastic production.
For those in the audience at last nights show; I’m glad you didn’t walk out after witnessing my left-footed dance moves on stage after intermission! In true ‘Geoff’ style I was dragged on stage for a “dance” with the cast and a very surprised young lady sitting next to me. Yes, I was red-faced!