Commissioned by New Vic Theatre (2016)
Published by Nick Hern Books
Dancers Justin and Jodie have made it to Blackpool’s National Amateur Championships via the hard shoulder of the M6. Luka’s come from Russia but Nancy’s still dancing to her dad Mick’s tune. Lee and Samantha are the consummate champions but Sam’s habit could cost them the crown.
What lies behind the fixed smiles and fake tan of competitive dance? Dazzling ballroom and Latin numbers combine with gritty stories of real-life struggle and sacrifice as Kiss Me Quickstep counts the emotional, financial and psychological cost of dancing to win.
Directed by Theresa Heskins, the original New Vic/Oldham Coliseum production also toured to the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, and The Winter Gardens, Eastbourne Theatres.
At each theatre, the professional company were joined by a community chorus of dancers. The acting company also received spray-tans and waxing in preparation for their roles.
Research began at the 2012 Blackpool Dance Festival, supported by the Theatre Writing Partnership Making Tracks bursary for a creative journey.
“The combination of Amanda Whittington – a writer with an uncommon knack for intelligent, accessible drama – and the gladiatorial arena of sequins and tailcoats is a match made in ballroom heaven.”
“Kiss Me Quickstep uses the setting of the ballroom competition to explore the underlying issues a modern day couple faces in British society. Financial worries, domineering parents, addiction and the value of life are all scrutinised in this compelling and highly relevant play.”
“This is an eminently warm-hearted play that should exponentially increase Whittington’s popularity. Which is no mean feat given how popular she is already.”