Sequins, feathers, ballroom dancing and the quintessential Aussie spirit, will be on display in CLOC’s latest production of Strictly Ballroom.
No stranger to premiering musicals, CLOC brings a new version of Strictly Ballroom to the Australian public. The musical that was premiered in Australia in 2014, has continued to evolve since, including the addition of new music.
Along with the classics Time After Time, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps and Love is in the Air, this production will feature songs by Sia, David Foster and Eddie Perfect.
These additions are not only exciting for the cast, but also for director Craig Wiltshire.
“We are very lucky to be performing the version of the show that was orchestrated by Eddie Perfect. He has written some beautiful music for the show…” he said.
Wiltshire has been involved with CLOC for over 20 years first as a performer and then as part of the production team. Strictly Ballroom will be the fourth production he has directed and choreographed.
Playing the role of Scott, made famous by Paul Mercurio, is Dylan Henry, who returns to CLOC after playing Larry in their production of A Chorus Line last year.
“Obviously, I’ve seen the movie countless times, so it’s impossible not to think of Paul Mercurio’s iconic portrayal, but I really went into this role with the intention to create my own Scott….
“At the end of the day he’s a classic young Australian who’s a bit full of himself and has a lot of growing to do, and that’s the journey that I want to show the audience.” Henry said.
To bring this new interpretation of Scott to life, Henry started his preparation back in December of last year.
“I did all kinds of stuff to prepare, but I think the weirdest thing I did was look into the Australian Federation of Ballroom Rulebook which of course Barry Fifth (in the show) quotes regularly to enforce his ‘strict’ agenda.” He said.
The rehearsal process was a gruelling one for both cast and crew, with hours of work put into choreography, costumes and sets.
“The cast have worked so hard to achieve such a high level of performance and have been so devoted to the entire process…
“Hundreds of hours have been devoted to making sure that everything looks amazing. It’s been a mammoth undertaking by everyone but we are all super proud of it.” Said Wiltshire.
“We have laughed and cried over the material together, and have really enjoyed working as a collective to create this piece.” Henry said.
The hard work has been worth it for all involved, with excitement flowing throughout in showcasing an Australian work to the Australian audience.
“Shows like ‘Muriel’s Wedding, ‘Priscilla’ and of course ‘Strictly Ballroom’ have shown that there are great Australian stories and audiences want to see them. We have all loved having the opportunity to perform a brand new Australian musical at such a large scale. It’s been incredibly rewarding and a huge achievement for everyone involved down at CLOC.” Wiltshire said.
Strictly Ballroom runs from May 11th to May 25th at the National Theatre.