Craig Revel Horwood, 57, is excited about bringing Strictly Ballroom The Musical back to the stage on a UK tour, which includes Reading’s Hexagon, 16th-21st January & Guildford’s G Live, 20th-30th December
Q. Hello Craig! Can you tell us about this show, which you’ve directed and co-choreographed?
“Audiences are in for a night of laughter and comedy, with an insight into the ballroom world. It’s a glimpse backstage, which is very different to the smiles when dancers are performing. Most people see this happy, smiley world of people dancing together but when they come off stage they maybe have family issues to deal with or issues with each other. Strictly Ballroom lifts the curtain on all that whilst also being really funny and having such a strong central love story, plus there’s lots of glitz and glamour and beautiful costumes. I am absolutely delighted to be directing the amazing Kevin Clifton and the sensational Maisie Smith, together with our super talented cast in Strictly Ballroom The Musical – I know that they’ll all be FAB-U-LOUS! Expect some sexy moves, sizzling costumes and a simply sensational evening!”
Q. You left Australia in 1988 to forge a career in the UK, and I’ve read that the film Strictly Ballroom was a pivotal moment for you?
“I hadn’t really been home since leaving and when I saw the movie it made me feel really homesick. I absolutely loved it and it’s become one of those go-to films that I watch every Christmas. It cheers me up. So when the opportunity came up to direct it I didn’t hesitate. I’m passionate about all kinds of dance and this show is the perfect vehicle for me to explore that.”
Q. The show features songs by Sia, David Foster and Eddie Perfect, I believe?
“You’re going to see huge dance numbers and fantastic duets, with tunes that people know and love, as well as new music written specifically for the show which is equally brilliant. It’s mixing the old and the new.”
Q. How have people’s perceptions of ballroom changed over the years?
“People perhaps didn’t understand the world of ballroom dancing when the film Strictly Ballroom came out. Since the advent of Strictly Come Dancing they get what it’s all about. They realise that it’s full of very strict rules that the dancers all have to adhere to but Scott wants to break those rules, just as Fran wants to break the rules of flamenco. When they come together they also end up falling in love. That’s what makes it such a compelling and uplifting show.”