Kevin stars as Scott Hastings in the Musical Strictly Ballroom (Image)
KEVIN Clifton loves Glasgow.
We know this because the former Strictly star has a foot tattoo that says it.
He bursts into laughter. “Oh, yeah, haha, the tattoo,” he exclaims. The cast of Strictly Ballroom discovered it and thinks it’s funny. Was it one of life’s ‘felt like a good idea at the time?’ moments? No, honestly – I still love it, I do.”
Kevin agreed to get the ‘I Love Glasgow’ tattoo after Susan Calman, his celebrity partner on the hit Saturday Night show, called an ‘I Love Grimsby’ tattoo in honor of his hometown after the pair made it to Blackpool. As a result, he had it done on This Morning.
Kevin says, “I’ll text Susan when we go to Glasgow. We are still good friends.”
Kevin stars in Strictly Ballroom the Musical. It will arrive in Glasgow on 5 June.
He says it is his dream role. “I’ve been obsessed” with this film since he turned ten.
He explains, “I believe it was because the film was about ballroom dance, and there were not many films like that around at the time.”
“Also, the character of Scott Hastings was so fascinating – he was a dancer, and he was cool, and before Strictly Come Dancing, the Ballroom wasn’t portrayed that way. He became something of a hero for me.”
Strictly Ballroom The Musical is based on Baz Luhrmann’s film. It tells the story of Scott Hastings – a young, talented ballroom dancer who has become disfavored by the Australian Federation because of his radical dancing style.
The unlikely pair, both low-confident beginners (Faye Brookes from Coronation Street), find the courage to challenge their families and conventions.
Kevin admits to feeling pressure when he takes on a role as famous in a movie he loves.
“I think because I love it so much, I put a lot of pressure on myself, to be honest – it has to be right,” he explains. “There have been a couple of versions of it over the years, but when you mess with it too much, you lose something… If you have seen and loved it, some parts must be in the stage show. We’ve tried to make it as similar to the movie as possible.”
He continues: “It is Baz Luhrmann, so it’s OTT, flamboyant, and manic, but at the center of it all are Scott and Fran.” It’s possible to slow down and be in the world of Scott and Fran, despite everything happening.
Kevin laughs. “I grew up in a dancing school.”
“Both my mum and dad were dancers,” says he. My dad loved musical theatre, too. I remember him taking my sister Joanne and me to see shows such as Cats. Afterward, he always asked – What did you love about the play? What did it do to you?”
Kevin pauses. “I believe that’s why everything I do, is about how it makes the people feel. On Strictly, I was more interested in entertaining people and telling stories. That felt more important than creating something technically perfect that impressed Shirley Ballas….”
Kevin and his partner Stacey Dooley – with whom he lifted the glitterball trophy on Strictly in 2018 – have just had a baby girl, Minnie, who he says is their “obsession.”
“She’s amazing,” he says. “I’m missing them, but at least I can sleep eight hours a night.” Stacey has been great about it – she just said, go on, do your show, get your good night’s sleep – don’t tell me about it….”
Kevin says he has accomplished some of his most important goals since leaving Strictly. In addition to his “dream role” of Scott Hastings in Strictly Ballroom, he played Cosmo Brown in the UK touring Singin’ in the Rain. And he indulged in his lifelong passion for rock music by performing in Rock of Ages.
“It almost feels like a bucket list completed,” he smiles. “Everything is now a bonus.
Before, I would always look ahead and ask what came next, never noticing what I was doing at the moment.
He adds: “There are things I want to do – more acting, some writing, but the big roles, the ones I dreamed of doing, I have achieved. It’s an amazing feeling. ….”
Strictly Ballroom: The musical is at the Theatre Royal Glasgow from 5 to 10 June.
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