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Gareth is loving his time in Lowestoft as Footloose show entertains audiences

PUBLISHED: 13:17 26 February 2016

Gareth Gates as Willard and Joanna Sawyer as Rusty in Footloose: The Musical. Picture: Matt Martin

Gareth Gates as Willard and Joanna Sawyer as Rusty in Footloose: The Musical. Picture: Matt Martin

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Celebrity Gareth Gates tweeted that he was “loving Lowestoft” as he arrived in town for the start of the major touring musical Footloose.

Gareth Gates is in the building....to cut loose at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: MARINA THEATREGareth Gates is in the building....to cut loose at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: MARINA THEATRE

The former Pop Idol runner-up, who has sold five million records worldwide, showed all his acting, singing and dancing talents as he stepped onto the Marina Theatre stage to take on the role of Willard in the action-packed two-hour show.

He tweeted: “LOVE the seaside HATE the cold” as he arrived on the east coast on Monday (February 22) - but he and the remainder of the cast showed no signs the chilly temperatures were getting to them as they walked off to rave reviews from audience members.

Speaking after the standing ovation and encore at Tuesday’s show, the mayor of Lowestoft, Stephen Ardley, said: “Everyone was on their feet – it was absolutely brilliant. This is a fantastic production, full of energy, and I would encourage everyone to see it. You will regret it if you miss it.”

Accomplished actress Maureen Nolan – who with her sisters became one of Europe’s first girl bands, the Nolans – has appeared in Lowestoft before with The Nolans and as Mrs Johnston in Blood Brothers.

Speaking after Tuesday night’s show, she said: “If you want to have a good night and have fun, you just have to come see us. There’s a great storyline to it, which is based on the truth, and a top night is guaranteed.”

For Luke Baker, who plays Ren McCormack, it is his first time in Lowestoft – but the talented actor said: “Its been brilliant. The audiences have been fantastic, really attentive and they were all up on their feet at the end. So come along and don’t miss out.”

Based on the 1980s hit film, which features some classic hits, director Racky Plews said: “Actor-musician shows are extremely challenging. Not only are these talented folk acting and singing, they are all dancing whilst playing their instruments live at the same time!”

Performances of Footloose: The Musical continue tonight and tomorrow at 7.30pm, as well as a matinee showing at 2.30pm tomorrow (Saturday).

■ Tickets, priced from £25.50 to £32.50, are available online at www.marinatheatre.co.uk or call 01502 533200.

Did you go to see Footloose? What did you think? Write, giving your full contact details, to: Journal Postbox, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk


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