Turn on, tune in, drop out… Rip It Up will be singing and dancing through the ‘60s.
Strictly Come Dancing champions Harry Judd and Louis Smith MBE and people’s champion Aston Merrygold have announced they are to tour together as the ultimate boy band of dance in the jukebox theatre show Rip It Up.
Following the smash hit success of Rip It Up’s 1950s-themed debut tour in 2017, which sold over 50,000 tickets across the UK and was widely acclaimed as the most exciting Strictly Come Dancing spin-off tour ever, the 2018 Rip It Up tour promises to bring the fabulous soundtrack of the 1960s to life in an explosion of song and dance.
From Wednesday, 12th September until Wednesday, 31st October, audiences nationwide will witness Harry, Aston and Louis dance their way through many of the defining and most everlasting hits from the decade that changed not just (y)our generation but the world; from Mersey Beat, Motown and Mod to West Coast and Woodstock.
Backed by the exceptional Rip It Up live band and a stunning supporting cast of singers and dancers, the Strictly champions will dance to songs from British legends such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, the Bee Gees, Small Faces and The Kinks, and American superstars such as The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds, The Doors, The Mamas & The Papas and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
Mix in a bit of Dusty Springfield, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and Phil Spector with soul classics from Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and Motown legends Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and The Supremes, and Rip It Up celebrates some of the most iconic sounds, sights and events from that tumultuous ten-year period which transformed the 20th Century; from Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, the deaths of JFK, Marilyn Monroe and Martin Luther King, The Berlin Wall to James Bond, Doctor Who, the pill, the Mini Skirt, bell-bottoms, the emergence of Mary Poppins, the rise of Beatlemania and England winning the World Cup.
Louis Smith MBE is one of Britain’s sporting superstars, having shot to fame at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 by winning a bronze medal in the pommel horse, and silver medals at both the London 2012 and Rio De Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games,
After the London 2012 Olympics, Louis took part in and won that year’s series Strictly Come Dancing, lifting the coveted Glitterball trophy with his professional dance partner Flavia Cacace. He also won the Strictly Christmas Special in 2014 with his professional dance partner Aliona Vilani.
After also starring in Rip It Up’s debut tour in 2017, Louis said: “Performing in Rip It Up last year was one of the hardest and most challenging experiences I have ever attempted, including competing at the Olympics. The fact that I jumped at the chance to be part of this brand new ‘60’s version of it also shows how much I enjoyed the whole thing. I’m excited to be performing alongside Aston, especially as we grew up together, and equally with Harry. See you in the stalls!”
Harry Judd, the drummer in worldwide pop phenomena McFly and McBusted, is one of the most recognisable faces on the UK music scene. Having swept the board to win Strictly in 2011 with his professional dance partner Aliona Vilani, he was also voted the best ever Strictly winner in a nationwide poll, before winning that year’s Strictly Christmas Special with pro dance partner Joanna Clifton.
Harry said: “I love to dance. Along with playing in a band there’s no better feeling than to be on stage dancing. I was brought up listening to ‘60’s music by my parents, which makes this whole show even more exciting for me to be a part of. Aston and Louis are both great movers so I’m looking forward to sharing a stage with them to put on the best show possible!”
The Strictly champions will be joined by Aston Merrygold, who as part of JLS, achieved five UK Number 1 singles, sold 10 million records worldwide and were the recipients of two Brit Awards and five Mobo Awards.
Regarded as one of the best celebrity dancers in the history of Strictly Come Dancing, the judges’ decision to vote series’ favourite Aston and his professional dancer partner Janette Manrara off of the show after week 6 was considered the biggest shock in the show’s history.
Looking ahead to touring with Harry and Louis, Aston says, “I’m so excited to be joining Rip It Up in 2018. I feel like I’ve got some unfinished business when it comes to dance, and I’m excited to get to work alongside some familiar faces! As always, I’m looking forward to travelling across the UK and putting my own spin on some classic ‘60s moments!”
If you can remember them you can’t have been there, so turn on, tune in, drop out and relive the ‘60s through Rip It Up at the Blackpool Opera House on Thursday 27th September. Tickets on general sale Friday 23rd March.