Best-selling recording artist, X-Factor winner and West End star Matt Cardle will officially join the cast of Strictly Ballroom The Musical from tonight, Wednesday 8 August.

Strictly Ballroom the musical which is based on Baz Luhrmann’s 1992 Australian romantic comedy film, is transformed into a spectacular and joyous West End musical.

It tells the story of Scott Hastings – a young ballroom dancer 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”…

Matt who will play the role of bandleader Wally Strand at the Piccadilly Theatre, first came to the public’s attention when he won The X Factor in 2010. This was the year the show received 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.

Matt has since sold over 2 million albums, had 3 Top 10 albums and played 5 sold-out UK tours. His 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.

He made his West End debut in 2015 playing the lead role of Huey Calhoun in Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre where he starred opposite the legendary Beverley Knight.  Matt won the Best West End Debut.

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.” Says Matt.

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).

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.

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, 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.

For all information about STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL, please see:



Created by Baz Luhrmann

Book by Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce

Directed & Choreographed by Drew McOnie

Set Design by Soutra Gilmour

Costume Design by Catherine Martin

Lighting Design by Howard Hudson

Sound Design by Gareth Owen

Musical Supervision by David Caddick

Orchestrations by Simon Hale


Piccadilly Theatre

16 Denman Street