The smash hit musical show Rip It Up returns with a new theme and a new line-up. 2012 Strictly Come Dancing champion Louis Smith MBE is back and dancing alongside 2011 champion Harry Judd and Aston Merrygold whose early departure from the 2017 series was a shock. Together they will dance their way through the soundtrack of the 1960s in a stunning 2-hour show across the country through September and October.

Rip It Up’s 1950s-themed debut tour in 2017 was widely acclaimed as the most exciting Strictly Come Dancing spin-off tour ever. Backed by the exceptional Rip It Up live band and a stunning supporting cast of singers and dancers, the Strictly boys will dance to many of the hits of the 60s and the show will celebrate the most iconic sights, sounds and events of the decade from the moon landing to the mini skirt, from Beatlemania to James Bond and England’s World Cup victory.

Rip It Up 2018

Harry Judd, Louis Smith and Aston Merrygold: Rip It Up 2018 Photo by Ryan X Howard. Copyright owned by Remembering Icons Ltd

Louis Smith MBE shot to fame by winning a gymnastics bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and silver medals at both the London 2012 and Rio De Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. In 2012 he lifted the coveted Glitterball trophy with his professional dance partner Flavia Cacace and won the Strictly Christmas Special in 2014 with professional dance partner Aliona Vilani before starring in Rip It Up’s debut tour in 2017,

“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,” Louis said. “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. I think Aston and Harry are an absolutely incredible addition to the show.

“It’s a lot less daunting because I did the full stage production last year. I half know what to expect, so there won’t be so many surprises as to what the tour entails.

“I love all the Motown and swing music, so it blends into last year’s 1950s theme. There’s a lot I like from Elvis Presley, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations…all of that music is right up my street. I’m really looking forward to rocking it out.”

Rip It Up 2018

Aston Merrygold, Louis Smith and Harry Judd: Rip It Up 2018 Photo by Ryan X Howard. Copyright owned by Remembering Icons Ltd

Harry Judd, the drummer in worldwide pop phenomena McFly and McBusted, 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 partner Joanna Clifton.

“I love to dance,” said Harry. “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!”

“It’s going to be a big challenge. Louis said last year’s tour was harder than doing the Olympics – that says it all, really! It’s two hours long and has so much more content than you learn on Strictly. I think it is going to be one of the toughest things I have ever done. I will be physically fit enough, but the mental exhaustion will be more of a challenge.

“I grew up listening to a lot of music from the ‘60’s era, so it feels very natural for me to be tying into that music. The Beatles and The Beach Boys are my two favourite bands from back then and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Rip It Up 2018

Aston Merrygold, Louis Smith and Harry Judd: Rip It Up 2018 Photo by Ryan X Howard. Copyright owned by Remembering Icons Ltd

The Strictly champions will be joined by Aston Merrygold who, with JLS, achieved five UK Number 1 singles and sold 10 million records worldwide. Regarded as one of the best celebrity dancers in the history of Strictly Come Dancing, the judges’ decision to vote 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!

“My run on Strictly felt like it was cut a bit too short for myself, just because there were certain things I expected from myself and wanted to achieve. I also wanted to try and learn. This way I get the best of both. With Rip It Up I get to perform every single night, and I only have to do one lot of rehearsals.

“I have known Harry from within the music industry and Louis since before I can remember. Our parents went to school together, so it is just funny that we are now doing a show together.

“I will definitely be trying to do a couple of my James Brown moves, anything by James Brown is always going to be good. For me, that’s the life and soul of the ‘60s.”

Rip It Up is appearing at the following venues across the UK (*indicated additional matinee performances):

September

Wed 12   High Wycombe, The Swan

Thu 13   Scunthorpe, The Baths Hall

Fri 14   Carlisle, The Sands Centre

Sat 15   Edinburgh, King’s Theatre

Sun 16   Glasgow, King’s Theatre

Tue 18   Inverness, Eden Court

Wed 19   Perth, Concert Hall

Thu 20   Gateshead, The Sage

Fri 21   York, Barbican Centre

Sat 22   Buxton, Opera House

Sun 23   Billingham, Forum Theatre*

Mon 24   Birmingham, Symphony Hall

Wed 26   Halifax, Victoria Theatre

Thu 27 Blackpool Opera House

Fri 28   Leamington, Royal Spa Centre

Sat 29   Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall

Sun 30   Rhyl, Pavilion

October

Mon 1   Cardiff, St David’s Hall

Wed 3   Reading, The Hexagon

Thu 4   Manchester, Bridgwater Hall

Fri 5   Oxford, The New Theatre

Sun 7 Swindon Wyvern Theatre*

Tue 9   Bournemouth, Pavilion Theatre

Wed 10   Northampton, Royal & Derngate

Thu 11   Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall

Fri 12   London, The Palladium

Sat 13   Hayes, Beck Theatre*

Sun 14   Aylesbury, The Waterside

Mon 15   Bristol, Hippodrome

Thu 18   Torquay, Princess Theatre

Fri 19   St Albans, Alban Arena

Sat 20   Kings Lynn, Corn Exchange

Sun 21   Southend, Cliffs Pavilion*

Mon 22   Dartford, Orchard Theatre

Tue 23   Ipswich, Regent Theatre

Wed 24   Guildford, G Live

Fri 26   Worthing, Assembly Hall

Sat 27   Cambridge, Corn Exchange

Sun 28   Yeovil, Westlands

Mon 29   Cheltenham, Town Hall

Tue 30   Margate, Winter Gardens

Wed 31   Chatham, Central Theatre