Dance back to the golden age of jazz with Millie

Michelle Collins as Mrs Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie  Pic: Darren Bell
Michelle Collins as Mrs Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie Pic: Darren Bell
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STRICTLY Come Dancing star Joanne Clifton and ex-EastEnder Michelle Collins star in the award-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Playhouse, next week.

The World Ballroom Showdance Champion takes on the title role of Millie Dillmount, a Kansas girl determined to make it big in New York City, while the one-time Cindy Beale will play Mrs Meers, the evil owner of the Hotel Priscilla.

A former actress she is also leader of a white slavery ring in the Orient.

Winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie is based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film starring Julie Andrews.

It transports audiences back to the height of the Jazz Age in the 1920s when ‘moderns’, including a flapper named Millie Dillmount, were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce and rewriting the rules of love.

The year is 1922 and Millie Dillmount has just escaped from Kansas to New York, where she is quickly mugged, losing her hat, scarf, purse and a shoe.

In a panic, she trips bypasser Jimmy Smith, a carefree young man making his way through life on his wits.

Ignoring his advice to head back home, Millie takes a room at the Hotel Priscilla for Single Women, where she meets the sinister hotel proprietress, the mysterious Mrs Meers, who kidnaps unsuspecting orphan girls and ships them to the Orient - a fate that has just befallen Millie’s hall mate, Ethel Peas.

Unable to pay her rent Mille faces being turned out onto the street until she meets the wealthy Miss Dorothy, who wants to learn how the other half live.

Seeing an opportunity to get her rent paid Millie suggests she rooms with her at the Hotel Priscilla until she can find her own. But can they both avoid the evil clutches of Mrs Meers and what of Jimmy Smith? As in all good musicals, the path of true love is never a smooth one.

Featuring explosive tap numbers including a ‘Fred and Ginger’ dance routine on a window ledge, Thoroughly Modern Millie features hit songs such as Gimme Gimme, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Not for the Life of Me.

A funny and entertaining show for all the family, the cast is completed by Sam Barrett, Graham McDuff, Katherine Glover, Jenny Fitzpatrick, Catherine Mort, Damian Buhagiar, Andy Yau, Emma Housley, David Muscat, Alice Baker, Lottie Summers, Laura Marie Benson, Bobby Williams, Marios Nicolaides and Laura Wilson.

Thoroughly Modern Millie, Playhouse, Greenside Place, Monday-Saturday, 7.30pm (matinees 2.30pm), £17.50-£50, 0844-871 3014