Photo Flash: Matt Cardle Joins STRICTLY BALLROOM Tonight
New images have been released as best-selling recording artist, X-Factor winner and West End star Matt Cardle officially joins the cast of Strictly Ballroom The Musical. Based on Baz Luhrmann's acclaimed film and now transformed into a spectacular and joyous West End musical, Matt plays the role of band leader Wally Strand at the Piccadilly Theatre.
Matt Cardle first came to the public's attention when he won The X Factor in 2010, the year the TV phenomenon series enjoyed its highest-ever ratings. His debut single When We Collide was Christmas number one in 2010, sold over one million copies and was nominated for a BRIT Award for Best Single. Since then, Matt has now sold over 2 million albums, had 3 Top 10 albums and played 5 sold-out UK tours. Matt's most recent album Time To Be Alive was released by Sony earlier this year, and features his latest single I'm Not Letting Go Yet and the huge club hit Desire.
In 2015 he triumphed in a whole new arena when he made his West End debut, playing the lead role of Huey Calhoun in Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Starring alongside the legendary Beverley Knight, Matt won the Best West End Debut.
Matt Cardle said "I'm so excited to be returning to the West End and to be joining the cast of Strictly Ballroom to play the part of Wally Strand. It's so rare that a role comes around that you can put so much of your own stamp on. I have seen the show and it's absolutely incredible. Baz Luhrmann is an utter genius, as is Drew McOnie. To have the opportunity to sing all these huge songs every night is a real honour."
Strictly Ballroom tells the story of Scott Hastings - an arrogant young ballroom champion who gets in trouble for daring to dance his own steps. When he ends up dancing with a beginner, Fran, together they find the courage to defy tradition with moves that aren't "strictly ballroom"...
The show features over 30 classic hits including Time After Time, Let's Dance, I'm So Excited, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Sway (Quien Sera), Mambo No. 5, Dancing With Myself, Sugar Sugar, It's the End of the World as We Know It, Teardrops, and Love is in the Air.
Director/choreographer Drew McOnie (Jesus Christ Superstar, In The Heights) has brought the story to life with a heart-stopping fusion of dance styles - together with a sensational cast led by Jonny Labey (EastEnders), Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins, Follies).
The cast includes Michelle Bishop (The Great American Trailer, Sunset Boulevard) as Pam Short, Ivan de Freitas (Jesus Christ Superstar, Aladdin) as Merv, Anna Francolini (Peter Pan, wonder.land) as Shirley Hastings, 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, Gerard Horan (The Ferryman, The Vote) as Barry Fife, 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 (Palace of the End, In The Heights) as Abuela, Lauren Stroud (Scrooge, Top Hat) as Liz Holt & Gary Watson (Jersey Boys, Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be, A Chorus Line,) as Ken Railings.
The cast also includes Chris Bennett, Chrissy Brooke, Hannah Fairclough, Lavinia Fitzpatrick, Selina Hamilton, Tim Hodges, Christopher D Hunt, Luke Jackson, Justin-Lee Jones, Robin Kent, Jacob Maynard, Freya Rowley, Leanne Pinder, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda & Dale White.
Strictly Ballroom The Musical is produced by Global Creatures the team behind Walking With Dinosaurs - The Arena Spectacular, Muriel's Wedding The Musical and the Broadway-bound King Kong and Moulin Rouge! The Musical.
Photo Credit: Johan Persson