Strictly Ballroom to become Australian stage musical in 2013

Baz Luhrman’s Strictly Ballroom is to be adapted into a stage musical, which will premiere in Australia in September 2013.

The show will be produced by Global Creatures – the Australian company who brought arena show Walking with Dinosaurs to the UK – and will be supported by the Government of New South Wales, through subsidiary Events NSW. The show will have its premiere at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney in September 2013.

New South Wales premier Barry O’Farrell said that the local government had become involved as part of a strategy to rebuild the region’s economy.

He said: “Last week we announced Sydney was chosen for the Australian premiere of The Addams Family. I said we’d bring major events back to Sydney – here’s the proof.

“This is in addition to the recent and highly successful first run of Doctor Zhivago, as well as Legally Blonde opening in Australia in June 2012. We will ensure that Sydney, the gateway to Australia and NSW, remains number one when it comes to securing and hosting major events in Australia.”

Luhrmann, who created the 1992 movie, which was adapted from his own stage play, also welcomed the decision to premier the musical in Sydney.

“Of all of my shows, Strictly Ballroom is the most personal,” he said. “From escaping into the world of competitive ballroom dancing as a child, and my mother going on to be a dance teacher, through to the formative moment at the National Institute of Dramatic Art when a group of talented students and I brought together the classical myth of triumph over oppression and placed it in this world of suburban theatre, the first production of Strictly Ballroom was born.

“That little act of truth and defiance, born as a 40-minute student play, went on to win a competition in communist Czechoslovakia, was revised at my first theatre company and was extended, and finally was transformed into the little film that danced all around the world. A journey like this is likely to happen once in a creative person’s lifetime, if they’re lucky.”

Global Creatures chief executive Carmen Pavlovic added that the company was “committed to creating world class work in Australia and then taking it to the world”.

No plans for taking the show beyond Australia have yet been announced.

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