DANCING On Ice finalist and Coronation Street star Faye Brookes is to join Kevin Clifton in Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical at the Grand Opera House, York, from April 24 to 29.
The Manchester actress, 35, will play the lead female role of Fran opposite Strictly Come Dancing alumnus Clifton’s Scott Hastings in Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood’s production, co-choreographed with Strictly creative director Jason Gilkison, on tour until July 15.
Faye will be taking over from 2020 Strictly joint runner-up Maisie Smith, who leaves the ten-month tour on March 25 after being on the road since September 26 last year.
Faye is no stranger to musical theatre, having starred as Roxie Hart in Chicago, Princess Fiona in Shrek and Elle Woods in Legally Blonde The Musical, appearing in that pink and perky role at the Grand Opera House in August 2011.
She became a household name after joining ITV soap opera Coronation Street to play Underworld packer and waitress Kate Connor, from 2015-2019. Taking on “some of the biggest storylines the show has seen”, Faye won the 2017 National Television Award for Best Newcomer. In 2021, she skated all the way to the runner-up position in the 13th series of ITV’s Dancing On Ice.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the tour of Strictly Ballroom and can’t wait to work with Craig Revel Horwood, Kevin Clifton and the hugely talented cast,” says Faye. “I’m so excited to be playing the role of Fran and making it my own. Bring it on!“
Welcoming her to the tour, Kevin Clifton says: “It’s very exciting news that Faye is joining the cast of Strictly Ballroom and I’m looking forward to singing and dancing my way across the UK and Ireland with her.“
Director Craig Revel Horwood says: “I am delighted to be directing the sensational Faye Brookes as she joins Kevin Clifton and the super-talented cast of Strictly Ballroom The Musical. I know that she’ll be nothing short of FAB-U-LOUS!”
Based on Luhrmann’s 1992 Australian romantic comedy film, Strictly Ballroom The Musical tells the beguiling story of Scott Hastings, a talented, arrogant and rebellious young ballroom dancer (played by former Strictly professional and 2018 champion Clifton).
When he falls out with the Australian Federation over his radical dance moves, he finds himself dancing with Fran (Brookes), a beginner with no moves at all. Inspired by one another, this unlikely pairing gathers the courage to defy both convention and families – and discover that, to be winners, the steps don’t need to be strictly ballroom.
Combining a book by Luhrmann and Craig Pearce with a cast of more than 20, Strictly Ballroom The Musical brings to stage life such songs as Love Is In the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps and Time After Time with joyous verve.
The tour also features new songs by Sia, David Foster and Eddie Perfect in a show full of “scintillating singing, dazzling dancing and eye-popping costumes”, plus heart, comedy and drama, under the glitterball.
This uplifting and courageous musical originated as a stage play that Baz Luhrmann devised with a group of classmates at Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1984.
Eight years later, he made his silver-screen directorial debut with Strictly Ballroom, the first instalment of his Red Curtain Trilogy, winning three awards at the 1993 BAFTAs and receiving a 1994 Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture. In April 2014, Strictly Ballroom The Musical had its world premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre, Australia.
Tickets for the York run can be booked at atgtickets.com/york.