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Russell Grant climbs aboard the HMS Pinafore

Russell Grant climbs aboard the HMS Pinafore

Openly gay Strictly Come Dancing star Russell Grant is set to appear in three exclusive performances of Gilbert and Sullivan's classic comic opera HMS Pinafore.

The special semi-staged concert production will travel to London, Birmingham and Manchester and will star Grant, who made his name as a British TV astronomer in the 1980s and who has recently pirouetted back into the public's affection by featuring on reality show Strictly Come Dancing.

Grant will be realising the role of Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admirality in the satiricle tale of romance and mistaken identity on the high seas. He will be joined on stage by the likes of West End performer Rosemary Ashe, Riccardo Simonetti, Oliver White and Charlotte Page.

HMS Pinafore is one of Gilbert and Sullivan's most well known and beloved opperetas, full of memorable songs such as We Sail the Ocean Blue, I'm Called Little Buttercup and For He Is An Englishman. The score will be performed live, accompanied by an orchestra and chorus.

Grant's stint on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing saw him quickly becoming the 'nation's sweetheart'. Grant and his dancing partner Flavia Cacace finished eighth in the competition.

The HMS Pinafore opens on 11 March at The Barbican, London followed by Symphony Hall, Birmingham on 16 March and Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on 18 March. For box office inquiries visit the Raymond Gubbary website.