Just back from a trip to Leeds, where I saw the stage musical of Strictly Ballroom at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
I love a good musical and, while this one might not reach the depth of character and feeling of a Rodgers & Hammerstein, there was an enjoyable love story and some excellent dancing.
If you liked Dirty Dancing or Footloose, you should enjoy this. If you don’t know the film, it’s the tale of a pair of ballroom dancers determined to express themselves their way, even if that means breaking the rules. Freedom versus the establishment is always makes a good story. Along the way they inevitably fall in love and equally inevitably face bumps in the road to finally getting together.
If that sounds like a formulaic show, I don’t mean it to. It’s lively, inventive, often funny, sometimes moving and always impressive in its singing and dancing. I should make special mention of Fernando Mira’s show stopping paso doble and Gemma Sutton’s beautiful voice.
The show felt a little cramped on the West Yorkshire Playhouse stage. It deserves a West End run.
Photograph: Alastair Muir