Reviewed by Gemma Ingham
Well… I wasn’t quite expecting that when I went to see the stage version of Footloose at York Grand Opera House!
Having seen the film Footloose starring a young Kevin Bacon a number of years ago I had a vague recollection of the story, and of course everyone knows the famous ‘Footloose’ song. Ren, a typical teenage boy with a love of dancing is forced to move from Chicago to sleepy little bible-belt town Bomont. As well as making new friends and discovering a possible new love in the Reverend’s daughter Ariel, he soon finds out the town has banned dancing and sets off on a mission to change the ban.
When writing a review of a performance I usually tend to write a little about the actors who stood out or really impressed me but in this case I really can’t single any particular one out. This is mainly because they were all equally brilliant, but also because each actor took on numerous roles. It took me a song or two to realize, but the actors were actually playing the music live on stage. They switched seamlessly from instrument to instrument whilst acting, singing and dancing. They really were a multi-talented cast and I was quite honestly flabbergasted at how easy they made it look to play a saxophone whilst roller skating or singing whilst jumping rope.
One of the biggest stars of the production however was Gareth Gates who plays Willard. He was absolutely amazing and made the show, I did not stop laughing from the moment he entered the stage. His singing was amazing of course, but it was his stage presence, comedic timing and charisma that had me howling with laughter. Oh, and there was also the scene where he ended up half naked on stage looking spectacularly buff!
Although the Grand Opera House isn’t the most modern looking theatre I’ve been to it’s conveniently located in the centre of York, very close to a large car park and public transport.
Footloose is well worth a see, although be warned you’ll have the song stuck in your head for days afterwards!
Tickets cost from £16.65 to £48.65 (plus £4 transaction fee).
Footloose is at the Grand Opera House in York from 2-6 May 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/york or call the box office on 0844 8713024.
Grand Opera House York, Clifford and Cumberland Street, York, YO1 9SW | 0844 8713024