When Hollywood actor Channing Tatum brought a live version his hit film Magic Mike to the West End stage it was a dream show for Derry dancer Courtenay Brady.
Courtenay, who started dancing as a child, was mesmerised by the film when it was released and it has always been his dream to star in a live version of the movie. To his amazement, that dream came true earlier this year when he joined the cast of the show, which is currently enjoying an extended run at The Theatre at the Hippodrome Casino in London’s Leicester Square.
Despite a love of football and boxing when he was a child, Courtenay caught the dancing bug from his mum.
“My mum had a dance school,” explained Courtenay. “First and foremost I was a footballer and boxer but when we were on holiday my mum saw me dancing about and she roped me into coming to her dance school, so really I did it to keep her happy.”
Not long after he started dancing, however, at the age of just eight, he began entering competitions in England and Ireland and had great success, but still he never imagined he would make a career out of it. “I thought I was going to be a footballer or a singer,” revealed Courtenay.
That dream soon changed when he trained at Masters Performing Arts College, Essex.
“I started at Masters when I was 18 and it was long hours but I wouldn’t have changed it for all the world. It gives you discipline and a strong work ethic.”
Courtenay put that strong work ethic to good use even before he left college, securing his very first professional job dancing behind The Vamps on the television show Got to Dance. Over the years he has performed with artists including Liam Payne, Selena Gomez, Kylie Minogue, Take That, Black Eyed Peas and many more. Courtney has also performed as a dancer on a variety of TV shows including The X Factor, The Graham Norton Show, Britain’s Got Talent, and Strictly Come Dancing.
But when he saw the audition come up for Magic Mike he knew that was a long held ambition he had to fulfil.
“The first time I ever saw the film in the cinema I said to my best friend at the time ‘if they ever do a live version of this I want to be in it’,” said Courtenay. “The show is completely different to the film and it isn’t what you would expect.
“It is a dream job for me, this has always been on my bucket list and I am really happy with everything I have done as a dancer,”