Former Strictly Come Dancing star to give Jackie the Musical her magic touch

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips is to choreograph the new touring version of hit show Jackie the Musical.

The show, which brings the sounds of the 1970s as well as the trials and tribulations of teenage years to life, was a huge hit with audiences in Dundee during a two-week run in 2013.

Now the musical is being taken around the country on a 20-week tour.

Based on the popular magazine for teenage girls, Jackie the Musical tells the story of a fifty-something divorce who seeks advice from the pages of her old Jackie annuals on how to get a boyfriend.

She travels back in time and meets herself as a teenager.

Jackie was published by DC Thomson and Co Ltd between 1963 and 1993. At its peak in the early 1970s it was selling around one million copies a week.

Tickets for next year’s touring show, written by Mike James and directed by Anna Linstrum, go on sale tomorrow.

Rehearsals for the production will take place at the Gardyne Theatre where it was first performed in 2013.

Dundee audiences will get to see the revamped stage show first, with two sold-out shows at the Gardyne on March 11 and 12 before it goes out on tour.

It will be co-produced by Sally Wood, wife of Rolling Stone Ronnie, while Phillips has been recruited as choreographer. She has previously worked on a number of hit musicals such as Saturday Night Fever, Starlight Express and Grease.

“As soon as I heard it was about Jackie I said yes,” the 72-year-old said. “I know it is going to reach a whole era of women who lived through Jackie magazine.

“It was a completely different way of life then, where you could fancy a boy for weeks without being able to just swipe your phone to meet them, or plaster your walls with posters of pop stars without reading their every thought on social media.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s about women, for women. It’s about expressing your feelings and remembering what life was like.”

Former Jackie editor Nina Myskow is working with the production company and will interview fans of the magazine such as Emma Thompson and Fiona Bruce for an accompanying website.

The musical will star Janet Dibley, who shot to fame in 1980s sitcom The Two of Us and also starred as Lorna Cartwright in EastEnders.