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Baz Luhrmann names Strictly Ballroom's lead actor

Thursday 7 November 2013

Baz Luhrmann names Strictly Ballroom's lead actor

The role of Scott Hastings might have been locked down last month but he was revealed on last night’s Today Tonight television show.

20-year-old Thomas Lacey, who has a background in ballroom dancing, is best known as Ben Tickle in the ABC TV show Dance Academy.

"He's just got an ability to express story and emotion through dance, rather than just dance," said Luhrmann on Channel 7's Sunrise show this morning.

Thomas started dancing at the age of two, and professionally from seven-years-old. He's trained in tap, hip hop, contemporary dance, ballet, jazz and acrobatics.

Still to be announced is the full cast, the renowned composer Luhrmann has previously teased, and the actress/dancer who will take on the role of Fran. Open call auditions saw the play’s creator and director audition over 200 hopefuls a week for her role. It was no different during the casting of the original 1988 production when Tara Morice was subjected to a grueling audition process; the play was her first time working with professional dancers.

Luhrmann said he has chosen a Fran but she's not ready for the public eye just yet. "Fran's getting used to the idea of being Fran," he said.

The second stage adaptation of Luhrmann’s 1992 film will feature a cast of about 30 and as Luhrmann has put it, a required “degree of participation” from the audience.

"I want the audience to be completely swept up and a part of the show," he said on Sunrise.

Strictly Ballroom began as a stage production when Luhrmann and a group of fellow students at NIDA devised the comedy/drama in the early '80s.

Rehearsals have begun and previews will begin March 25 2014 at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre, with an opening night world premiere scheduled for April 12.

For more information and to book tickets head to the official website.

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