Footloose sizzles the spirit of youth, rebellion and romance.
Ren McCormack, a teenage boy from Chicago moves with his mother to the small town of Bomont. The Reverend has persuaded the town to outlaw dancing, which Ren finds unbelievable. With the help of the Reverend’s daughter Ariel and Willard, his soon to be best friend, Ren convinces the Reverend to let the teenagers dance, and in the process helps the town to heal from a tragedy that affected them all.
Based at The Montgomery where many small local popular musicals, plays, children’s shows are performed, you feel a real closeness with the actors, where maybe you wouldn’t feel in a larger theatre like the Crucible or Lyceum. The smaller venue helps with the atmosphere and makes you feel you’re one of the students at Bomont high school.
Following the residents of Bomont, you go on a journey with them, from laughter to heartbreak, romance to triumph.
A real stand out character has to be Ashley Wilson playing the role of Willard Hewitt. Ashley took on the role of comical Willard perfectly, embodying Willard in every sense.
Another honourable mention would have to go to the beautiful Ellie Needham who plays the rebellious reverend’s daughter Ariel Moore. Ellie played the role of Ariel superbly but her vocals and beautiful voice were something else.
With a mix of elders and young people alike, the cast has a vast diversity. Accompanied by upbeat flawless dance routines that complement the music.
With every new scene came new props and backdrops making you aware of a new location like the high school, the burger blast or with the Moore family sat at their kitchen table.
The lighting and sound throughout the show were excellent. It stood out for me when Ariel and Ren are on the bridge at night, with the moon and stars sparkling behind them. The lighting set the mood, making you feel you were under the night sky rather than sat in the Montgomery. While on the bridge Ariel and Ren are shouting their frustrations at passing trains, with the sound effects, lighting and the backdrop with the added prop of the bridge, It felt like you’re at the rail side with them, venting your anger alongside them.
The band must get a mention taking you back in time to the 1980s with their upbeat, feel-good rock n roll music. Featuring songs Holding Out for a Hero, Let’s Hear It For The Boy and the title track, Footloose.
Having never watched the original 1984 film Footloose I didn’t know what to expect but how I have been pleasantly surprised. Great music, amazing actors and an enthralling storyline. Brilliant evening out and would recommend people to ‘kick off their Sunday shoes’ and go give it a watch.
Footloose The Musical is at The Montgomery until Saturday 13th July 2019. You can buy tickets for The Montgomery here.