STAR Maisie Smith is set to return to where is all began as she brings her musical to Southend

Maisie is starring in her first ever musical debut with her role in Strictly Ballroom.

The show, which is on tour, is coming to the Cliffs Pavilion in March.

Maisie appears as Fran in the musical which will be in Westcliff from March 20 to 25.  

The former Chalkwell Junior School pupil, from Westcliff, shot to fame as a six-year-old playing cheeky EastEnders character Tiffany Dean - the youngest daughter of Bianca Jackson, played by Patsy Palmer.

The part will see her reunited with Kevin Clifton, who were previous champions of the Strictly Come Dancing Children in Need Special 2019, to star in the musical.

Strictly Ballroom The Musical tells the story of Scott Hastings (played by Kevin), a talented, arrogant and rebellious young ballroom dancer and dance partner Fran (played by Maisie), a beginner with no moves at all. The unlikely pair gather the courage to defy both convention and discover that, to be winners, the steps don’t need to be strictly ballroom.

“It combines all my favourite things: Singing, dancing, acting, sequins and a bit of glitz and glamour,” said Maisie.

“It’s such an amazing role to play in my first ever musical. It’s such a feel-good show and everyone will come out of the theatre feeling the love and the excitement. And of course it’s got such great dancing and music in it - Latin flavours, modern tracks and some real classics.”

Strictly Ballroom brings to life iconic songs, including Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps and Time After Time and will also feature some new songs by acclaimed artists including Sia, David Foster and Eddie Perfect.

Too young to have seen the film Strictly Ballroom when it first came out 1992, Maisie Smith later caught it on TV and loved it.

“The first time I was just watching the dancing so I’ve watched it again to prepare for the tour and it feels like the perfect fit for me,” said Maisie, 20.

As a 14-year-old she played the title role in Annie at school in her home town of Leigh, but this is her first professional stage outing.

She relates to Fran, saying: “She’s young and rebellious. She’s also ambitious and cheeky, so it’s the perfect role for me to play, although she’s probably a little more confident than I am.”

Smith is happy to be reunited with her Children in Need dancing partner three years after they bagged the glitterball trophy. “We got on so well and that was the start of my Strictly journey,” she said.

“It’s so nice to be dancing together again, and this time we’ve got a whole tour rather than just a week.”

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