Rumours are swirling theatreland that Strictly Come Dancing finalist and Bake Off! winner John Whaite is going to take the lead in a big West End show this summer in London.
Apparently Whaite has a singing voice to die for, and combined with his killer dance moves, he’s come to the attention of musical maestro Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Lloyd Webber is rumoured to have tapped the star for one of his shows opening in July 2022 – and our guess is it could be a London revival of Lloyd Webber’s 1982 spectacular Song and Dance. The show is in two acts, with the “Song” act comprising of the short musical Tell Me on a Sunday, with music by ALW and lyrics by Don Black. Originally this was cast for a young British woman, and is about her romantic misadventures in New York City and Hollywood, but could easily be updated. The “Dance” act is a ballet choreographed to Variations, composed by Lloyd Webber for his cellist brother Julian, and is based on the A Minor Caprice No. 24 by Paganini.
Cameron Mackintosh originally suggested the format for Song and Dance, and the show opened at the Palace Theatre in 1982 starring Marti Webb in the Song act, and Wayne Sleep and Jane Darling in the Dance act.
A source told The Sun newspaper that: “John will take centre stage in the show. It’s a dream job for him. He really impressed on Strictly and when Andrew found out John has an excellent singing voice too, he reached out.”
John Whaite and his professional Strictly dance partner Johannes Radebe are currently performing part in the Strictly Come Dancing tour. Also on the tour are Strictly winners Rose Ayling-Ellis and her professional partner Giovanni Pernice, plus Max George and professional dancer Katya Jones, Sara Davies and Aljaz Skorjanec, Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin and Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu. Strictly’s professional dancers Amy Dowden, Neil Jones, Luba Mushtuk and Jowita Przystal also perform and Janette Manrara is hosting the tour.
Andrew Lloyd Webber is busy at the moment, including the ongoing run of his acclaimed musical The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, and his new musical Cinderella reopening at the Gillian Lynne Theatre tomorrow, 3 February, after a short break.