When Art Imitates Life . . .
Australia doesn’t have many iconic movies, but Strictly Ballroom is one of the greats. And what better way to further promote Australia on the world stage than to make it into a musical and hopefully send it over to Broadway? But what I want to focus on is a new and exciting move with the casting process that is one of those ‘art imitating life’ moments!
For those of you unaware with the story, the story revolves around a dance competition. Scott Hastings (portrayed by Paul Mercurio in the film), having recently been left by his dance partner discovers an unknown outsider and learner dancer at his parents’ dance studio, Fran. Fran actually has a rather adept gift for dancing and transforms over their preparation for the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix Dance Competition into a confident and beautiful dancer. And to find out the rest, you will have to go and watch the film or see the musical . . .
But I want to focus on the role of Fran.
Despite numerous rounds of auditions searching for the perfect performer to play the role of Fran, producer Baz Luhrmann has been unable to find a suitable actress.
So what have they decided to do? Open up the door to every unknown in Melbourne and Sydney with open calls to come and audition.
Sound a bit familiar to a rather famous Australian movie? (Yes, it is Strictly Ballroom). In order to find a suitable Fran, the producers are actually living out the movie. And when they find a ‘Fran’ the person will actually embody the same qualities as the character. See what I mean – life imitating art!
And the best thing about this is that the show can only benefit from this process. Not only does it provide extra publicity as the show searches the nation for a lead character, but whoever they find to play Fran will have a unique insight into the character herself providing a powerhouse performance.
If you think you have what it takes to be the next Fran, rock up to one of the auditions in Melbourne or Sydney this weekend.
Melbourne Saturday 21 September from 9am
Revolt Theatre, 12 Elizabeth St, Kensington 3031
Sydney Sunday 22 September from 9am
Bangarra Dance Theatre, Pier 4, 15 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay 2000
Further Audition Information: http://www.lynneruthvencasting.com
For more information about the production visit: http://www.strictlyballroomthemusical.com/about.html