Former Casualty star Richard Winsor dons the iconic white suit to play king of the dance floor Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever at Dublin’s Bord Gáis Energy Theatre this week for one week only.
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The musical, based on the acclaimed 1977 movie, tells the story of Manero and his rise to disco supremacy and features Bee Gees’ hits Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, Tragedy and More Than a Woman as well as 70’s favorites Boogie Shoes, Disco Inferno - and for the first time the show will feature a group playing the Bee Gees live on stage.
Taking his first leading role in a major musical, 36-year-old Winsor, who was voted the "sexiest dancer in the world" by Elle magazine readers, told RTÉ Entertainment, "Tony is a young lad in working class Brooklyn family of Italian descent and he is struggling to find a better life for myself and he uses Saturday night as his blow-out and his fun."
Before landing the lead role in Saturday Night Fever, Winsor previously played the lead in dance movie StreetDance 3D and has also appeared in several Matthew Bourne productions, including Adventures in Motion Pictures and Swan Lake.
"We are keeping the drama there, we're keeping the drama quite real, which is one of the things that drew me to the show, the journey he goes on but it's still a crowd pleaser and people are dancing in the aisles." _ Richard Windor
The actor and dancer also collaborated with Bourne to create and play the lead in Dorian, a dance/theatre adaptation of Oscar Wilde's novel A Picture of Dorian Gray, and 'Edward' in Bourne's Edward Scissorhands.
Marking 40 years since its cinema release, the stage production of Saturday Night Fever tones down the grittier elements of the original John Travolta movie to create a more family-friendly show but Winsor says that it stays true to the story of Manero’s dreams of stardom.
"It is different from the movie but it's still a crowd-pleaser, it is still very entertaining. We have big, club-set numbers, a big lit-up dance floor that has a big mirror that angles from the back of the dance floor so everybody in the stalls can look up into the mirror and see the dance floor and the music is wonderful.
"But we are keeping the drama there, we're keeping the drama quite real, which is one of the things that drew me to the show, the journey he goes on but it's still a crowd pleaser and people are dancing in the aisles."
Saturday Night Fever is at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from September 18 to 22.