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Review - Footloose: The Musical at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 February 2016

Gareth Gates as Willard in Footloose. Picture: Matt Martin

Gareth Gates as Willard in Footloose. Picture: Matt Martin

Archant

It was a hit film that took the world by storm.

Synonymous with dazzling dance routines and memorable music, Footloose captivated audiences across the globe as Kevin Bacon starred in the 1984 screen sensation.

And as the Sell A Door Theatre Company brought Footloose: The Musical to Lowestoft it’s proved to be an equally popular hit with the local audiences.

From the moment the opening lines of Footloose echoed out around the theatre, an attentive audience were transfixed by this talented cast of actor-musicians.

Portraying the story of Ren McCormack, who moves with his mother Ethel from a vibrant city to a rural town in America where dancing is banned, what follows is his journey from being an outsider to breaking free.

With the watching eyes of a town led by the Rev Shaw Moore fully focused on him, rebellious Ren leads the senior school students’ efforts to ‘change the law’ to get the town dancing – and united – once more.

And, much like the success of the Footloose performers in getting the law overturned and being allowed to dance in the town of Bomont, they soon had the Lowestoft crowd ‘cutting loose’ as they got up on their feet and danced in the aisles – with the prom night bringing a fitting close to the production.

Loud cheers and applause were prominent throughout this show. Complete with amazing dance sequences, fabulous set designs and some classic 80s hits – including Holding Out for a Hero, Let’s Hear it for the Boy and Footloose – praise must go to the cast for their stunning acting performances combined with undoubted skill as singers and musicians.

From the moment Gareth Gates stepped onto the stage in blue dungarees as Willard he wowed the crowd.

The excellent Luke Baker impressed as Ren McCormack throughout, showing great chemistry with the superb Hannah Price, who shone as Ariel Moore.

Combining with great vocals from Joanna Sawyer, as Rusty, Natasha Brown, as Wendy-Jo, and Miracle Chance, as Urleen, their version of Holding Out for A Hero was particular impressive – as Mr Gates wore a Top Gun style pair of sunglasses and not much else!

Maureen Nolan showed why she is such an amazing actress and singer as Vi Moore and Principal Clark, while Nigel Lister, as Rev Moore, and Matthew Tomlinson, as Chuck, gave strong performances.

With talented cast members Alex Marshall, Thomas Cotran, Nicky Swift, Lauren Storer, Scott Haining, Natalie Morton-Graham, Luke Thornton and David Keech on drums making up a fantastic production, this is a musical not to be missed.

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