Legendary dance queen Arlene Phillips heads to the Fringe

Arlene Phillips
Arlene Phillips
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ARLENE Phillips is a showbiz legend. In a long and star-studded career she has choreographed everything from Top of the Pops to hit West End musicals and become one of the country’s favourite television judges along the way.

Next month, the 74-year-old brings her new show to the Fringe, promising a look back at a lifetime in dance while revealing the truth from behind the curtains.

Arlene! The Glitz. The Glamour. The Gossip finds Phillips gossiping with Jacquie Storey about her life, sharing all the (hot) gossip.

Topics up for discussion include: From life in Manchester to a global choreographer - how one little girl, who couldn’t even afford ballet shoes and lessons became a star.

It’s a truly Dick Whittington story as her life changed when she came to London.

Learn how Freddie Mercury was responsible for her meeting her husband; how she choreographed the iconic I’m Still Standing music video for Elton John and Rock DJ for Robbie Williams. Illustrated with clips, pics and stories from her personal archives, who else can claim to have the Village People, George Michael, and Michael Crawford on their CV as ‘pupils’.

Phillips certainly plenty of experiences to draw upon. Having been a judge on no fewer than seven different TV dance competitions including Strictly Come Dancing, Phillips has also choreographed the likes of Monty Python Live at the O2 and Donna Summer Live at Universal Amphitheatre.

As a director she has taken the helm on shows such as Saturday Night Fever, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Lord of the Dance, and been choreographer on smash hit productions such as Queen’s We Will Rock You, and the movies Annie, Clint Eatwood’s Black Heart, and Pet Shop Boys’ It Couldn’t Happen Here.

Be warned though, Arlene believes everyone can learn to dance. You will be taught by time you leave the theatre... Oh, and discover who the biggest Diva of them all really is?

Undoubtedly then, her reputation as a inimitable choreographer and director for more than four decades precedes her. Indeed, since creating the provocative dance group Hot Gossip in the 1970s, she has become a household name.

However, whether you know her from Hot Gossip or as the toughest judge on Strictly Come Dancing, prepare to be surprised and entertained by her stories .

Arlene! The Glitz. The Glamour. The Gossip, Assembly Checkpoint, Bristo Place, 20-26 August, 2.30pm, £15, 0131-226 0000