Sam Lips will play the role of Scott in Strictly Ballroom the Musical

The West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds has announced the full cast that will perform in the first UK staging of Strictly Ballroom the Musical, revealing that Sam Lips and Gemma Sutton will take on the lead roles.

The musical is set to premiere on Wednesday 30th November at the Quarry Theatre and will run until Saturday 21st January 2017.

Gemma Sutton who is currently starring in The Go-Between on the West End, and has previously starred in the production of Gypsy, will take on the role of Fran.

She will perform opposite Sam Lips, whose Broadway credits include Pippin and Wicked. Strictly Ballroom the Musical will be Lips’ first UK stage appearance.

Tamsin Carroll, who performed in the West Yorkshire Playhouse’s 2015 production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as well as in Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre in London, will play Shirley, whilst Stephen Matthews whose previous credits include The Lion King will play Doug.

Other cast members include Julius D’Silva as Barry, Richard Grieve as Les, Eve Polycarpou as Abuela and Charlotte Gooch as Tina.

Drew McOnie whose choreography for In The Heights saw him receive the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer will direct and choreograph the production.


Originating from the stage play devised by Baz Luhrmann in 1984, Strictly Ballroom the Musical tells the story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart.

Musical numbers include Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps, and Time After Time, as well as new songs written by artists including Sia, David Foster and Eddie Perfect.

The 1992 film version of the play received three awards at the 1993 BAFTA awards, as well as receiving a 1994 Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture.

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