Baz Luhrmann’s chooses Sydney to premiere stage adaptation of his iconic film.
Sydney has won out against fierce competition from producers in London and New York as the city to host the world premiere of a musical based on the classic Australian film Strictly Ballroom.
According to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, the final decision rested with the 1992 smash hit’s original director, Baz Luhrmann.
“It is a major theatrical coup that Sydney has secured the premiere ahead of Broadway and the West End”, O’Farrell said during an announcement at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).
“Securing the Strictly Ballroom premiere demonstrates Sydney’s re-emergence as the number one city for first run musicals.” Critical acclaim and box office takings for recent runs of Wickedand the Australian Doctor Zhivago support this claim.
The director of Moulin Rouge and Australia hailed his hometown as the ideal setting for the new musical, which has been devised in association with NIDA. Strictly Ballroom will premiere at the Lyric Theatre in September 2013 for a season expected to last six to nine months.
“Of all of my shows, Strictly Ballroom is the most personal,” Luhrmann said.
“From escaping into the world of competitive ballroom dancing as a child, and my mother going on to be a dance teacher, through to the formative moment at the National Institute of Dramatic Art when a group of talented students and I brought together the classical myth of triumph over oppression and placed it in this world of suburban theatre, the first production of Strictly Ballroom was born.”
The film stars the late Australian stalwart actor Bill Hunter in one of his most beloved roles. Luhrmann said of Hunter’s death last week, “We can take comfort that we will always see Bill again through the remarkable body of work that he has left on the screen.”