FOOTLOOSE TOUR – REVIEW
Family Fun, Great Laughs and Great Singing had us all Cutting Loose to this Footloose Tour Production!
On Wednesday 12th September we were invited to the 2nd night of the Footloose Tour at the Peacock Theatre in London.
We now have a footloose tour! So we should all be familiar with the storyline of Footloose. You have most likely seen either the original film with household names such as Kevin Bacon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lori Singer and John Lithgow, or the remake of the film in 2011 with Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough and Dennis Quaid. A teenager ‘Ren McCormack’ moves from the big city of Boston to a small country town called Bomont. Ren becomes aware of a dancing ban in the town caused by the death of 4 teenagers that crashed off a bridge four years prior, It is this that propels Ren to challenge the community leaders and the ban and urges the young community to celebrate life instead of being overshadowed by previous events. Of course no story is complete with a bit of romance and for that we have Ariel, Rens love interest.
The standout names on the posters for this tour were Maureen Nolan and Gareth Gates, playing a fabulous supports to the main leads played by Joshua Dowen who himself leads this cast superbly. Ariel was played by Hannah Price. The chemistry between these could be seen and the typical Pastors Daughter revelling against the good life of the lord, and weakness for bad boys was all there on show.
What we loved about the show also was that the cast all played the instruments also, so when a cast member was not in scene or sometimes even in scene you would see them on the Piano, Sax, Clarinet or Guitar, which emphasis the cast as not only being good actors or actresses but multi talented performers.
Ariels support group of her 3 best friends was enjoyable to watch for many reasons, Laura Sillet playing Rusty stood out vocally of the three (albeit all three were great singers) and her would be romance with Gareth Gates was funny to watch. Emma Fraser as Wendy Jo had humour throughout and all three made the show a lot of fun.
Now we all know Gareth Gates from Pop Idol, so we knew he could sing but could he act? Having been the first time we have seen him we thought he was utterly superb. I had wanted to tone down the praise for Gareth knowing he was one of the better known names and wished to credit the incredible cast that he works with however his Portayal of Willard was both fantastic and had me constantly laughing. He was certainly the best Robin this Batman could have! His portrayal of this slightly slow on the ball kid kept us on fits of laughter whether it was him telling us all about life lessons his mum had told him, the fact he always wanted a fight and the need to be advised on his love life approaches to Rusty.
Maureen Nolan played Vi Moore the wife of a Pastor, torn between the love of her husband and his beliefs and the daughter she knows wants and needs to explore more in life without the restrictions the town ban has brought. Maureen plays this hands down fantastic, and her voice which was has been shared across the beauty of all the Nolan sisters, was left to shine on solo performances in this show.
The soundtrack differed a little and had some standout hits the opening being ‘Footloose’, ‘Holding our for a hero’ ‘Lets hear it for the boy’. When you have Gareth Gates ripping his top off in the song ‘holding out for a hero’ you know that the audiences temperature raised to a sweat! There were a fabulous array of vocal performances and enjoyable songs throughout both sides of the interval to sing along too.
I do have to give a mention obviously to the other cast members Reuven Gershon who played the strict ‘Reverand Shaw’, Conor Going as ‘Chuck’, Ariels bad boy boyfriend all playing their part in the storyline and show excellently.
The show ended and eventually a slightly shy crowd finally all got up on their feet and praised and clapped the cast through the ensemble. Nothing less than a standing ovation was deserved for this performance.
This is a family fun show, and I tell you now, wether your footloose r not, get down to the Peacock Theatre and ‘Cutloose’ with this show. Its is in town for 2 more weeks until the 30 September. So buy your tickets here now!