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Footloose the Musical at The King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Published by: Cameron Lowe on 15th Jun 2016 | View all blogs by Cameron Lowe

When one of your favourite shows comes to town you are faced with a choice … either to enshrine your beloved memories forever, or to see the show again and again.  For the theatre lover, the natural choice is to see that show over and over but there is always that small risk that you might taint those hallowed memories …

I was faced with just such a choice as one of my all-time favourite musicals comes to the King’s Theatre in Glasgow this week … and as ever the theatre lover in me won the day.

Footloose, the Musical is, in many ways, irrepressible.  It’s got that uplifting 80s soundtrack (Footloose, Let’s Hear it for the Boy, Holding Out for a Hero, Almost Paradise, …) and a heart rending coming of age storyline of personal loss and overcoming impossible odds.  There are plenty of comedic characters and a laugh out loud script to lighten the drama too.  This production aims to capitalise on all of those positive elements and to add another impressive factor – a cast who play live instruments!  On the face of it, it’s a great idea.  What’s not to love!?  

But, while the onstage band / cast are certainly accomplished in their delivery of this fabulous score, the inventive choreography from Matthew Cole is inevitably somewhat stifled by a cast who are carrying some extra weight – in the form of instruments! And, for many fans, this is a dance show.

Direction from Racky Plews felt a little over engineered to me.  Characters were rightfully at the heart of this show but there was a little too much pacing around the stage when Dean Pitchford’s excellent script should be left to do the talking.

On the positive side, the cast are vocally talented as well as great musicians.  Hannah Price, as Ariel, delivers a knockout big hitter in the form of “Holding Out for a Hero” but also impresses with subtle harmonies in “Learning to be Silent” where she is joined in perfect harmony by Nicky Swift and Maureen Nolan as Ethel McCormack and Vi Moore.  Joanna Sawyer,  as Rusty,  delivers possibly the best rendition of "Let's Hear it for the Boy"  I've ever heard! Comedy is delivered in spades by former 911 heartthrob, Lee Brennan, as Willard along with his talented sidekicks.  Luke Baker as Ren ticks all the boxes in an impassioned performance which showcased his many talents.

From the choreography, fans of the film should look out for a mock car race scene and a great ‘angry dance’ from Ren.

All in all, I felt that this production punched a little below its weight.  But this is a heavyweight musical with many knockout elements and it should be seen nonetheless.

Footloose the Musical

King’s Theatre Glasgow

Mon 14 – Sat 18 June 2016

Evenings 7.30pm

Wed and Sat 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) Calls cost 7p per min plus your phone company’s access charge (bkg fee)




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