Loved Aussie show heads to town

Jesse Simpson will play Scott Hastings in Footlight Productions' upcoming show, Strictly Ballroom. (supplied)

One of Australia’s favourite musicals is headed to Geelong this summer with Footlight Productions bringing Strictly Ballroom to the Geelong Arts Centre stage.

Based on Baz Luhrmann’s 1992 film, Strictly Ballroom tells the story of Scott Hastings, a championship ballroom dancer who defies Ballroom Confederation rules and dances his own steps – steps that are not considered ‘strictly ballroom’.

As Scott tries to choose between following his heart or winning the coveted ballroom competition, he meets Fran – a beginner dancer who convinces him she is the right dance partner.

Producer Peter Wills said he was proud to stage the production in Footlight Productions’ 20th anniversary year.

“Bringing the glitz and glamour of the iconic Strictly Ballroom film to life has been the perfect way for our cast and creatives to celebrate everything there is to love about musical theatre, and everyone involved is excited for audiences to see this unique, uplifting and visually stunning production,” he said.

“This cast is almost three times the size of our first show’s cast, which speaks to how our productions have grown over the past 20 years. One of the recurring themes in Strictly Ballroom is taking a ‘leap of faith’, which is what we did when we started Footlight Productions and in addition to staging high-quality musicals,

it’s also brought a lot of joy and terrific experiences to our community, which we’re very proud of.”

Bringing to life the role made famous by Paul Mercurio, is Geelong’s Jesse Simpson.

Jesse is joined on stage by a cast of 30 performers from Greater Geelong, including Perri Espinoza, Sophie Collins, David Mackay, Ian Nash-Gilchrist, Jamie McGuane, Nelfio Di Marco and Nikki Arnott.

The production is directed by multi-Green Room nominated theatre director Alister Smith.

Strictly Ballroom is being staged in The Story House theatre at Geelong Arts Centre from January 19 to February 3. Tickets at, 1300 251 200 or the arts centre.