Jonny Labey, Zizi Strallen and Will Young
Jonny Labey, Zizi Strallen and Will Young
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Initial casting has been announced for the West End production of Strictly Ballroom - The Musical, which opens in March 2018 at the Piccadilly Theatre.

Zizi Strallen, whose credits include the titular role in the UK tour of Mary Poppins, Merrily We Roll Along, Carmen, and most recently the National Theatre production of Follies, will take on the role of Fran.

She will be joined by Jonny Labey as Scott. who has previously appeared in EastEnders and won ITV's Dance, Dance, Dance earlier this year. Labey's credits include shows including In the Heights and White Christmas, and earlier this year he won ITV's Dance, Dance, Dance.

In a newly created role for the West End run, Will Young will play a band leader. Young currently stars as the Emcee in the touring production of Cabaret.

The cast includes Michelle Bishop (Thoroughly Modern Milly, Sunset Boulevard) as Pam Short, Ivan De Freitas (Jesus Christ Superstar, Aladdin) as Merv, Gabriela Garcia (In The Heights, Ghost) as Vanessa Cronin, Charlotte Gooch (Top Hat, Dirty Dancing) as Tina Sparkle, Richard Grieve (Neighbours, Emmerdale and Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as Les Kendall, Liam Marcellino (Cabaret, Miss Saigon) as Wayne Burns, Stephen Matthews (The Lion King, The Producers) as Doug Hastings, Fernando Mira (ENO, Victorian State Opera) as Rico, Eve Polycarpou (Villa Thalia, In The Heights) as Abuela, Lauren Stroud (Top Hat, Hairspray) as Liz Holt & Gary Watson (Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be, A Chorus Line, Jersey Boys) as Ken Railings.

The cast also includes Chris Bennett, Chrissy Brooke, Hannah Fairclough, Selina Hamilton, Christopher D Hunt, Luke Jackson, Justin-Lee Jones, Robin Kent, Jacob Maynard, Leanne Pinder, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda & Dale White.

Based on the 1992 Baz Luhrmann film of the same name, with music and lyrics from Luhrmann and Catherine Martin and a book from Luhrmann and Craig Pearce, the show will run at the Piccadilly Theatre after Annie ends.

The show will feature film's iconic music with songs including "Love is in the Air", "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps" and "Time After Time".

Drew McOne's production opened at the West Yorkshire Playhouse last December, starring Sam Lips and Gemma Sutton. McOnie won the Olivier Award for Best Choreography for In The Heights in 2016, and is also currently workshopping a new musical adaptation of King Kong. His other credits include Bugsy Malone and On The Town.

Strictly Ballroom will have its opening night on 11 April at the Piccadilly Theatre, with previews from 16 March.

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