Reviewed by Louise Watts
Local musical theatre/drama societies are such important parts of the community and give people who may not be able to perform in the West End the opportunity to experience life in the theatre. They also encourage the youth of today to get involved with performing arts and show them what fun it can be!
Last evening, I attended The Hawth theatre in Crawley to see COS Musical Theatre, a local performing arts group that have been performing since 1958 on their opening night of Footloose the Musical. Along with me, I took my friend and our 5 children (ranging from 4 years to 15 years).
I am a little embarrassed to admit that I have never seen the film and therefore despite knowing the iconic 80’s Footloose song, I was oblivious to the story line that accompanies it.
The moment the show opened, it was fast paced and energetic. You could tell instantly that the actors were enjoying themselves and having fun. The story revolves around a young man called Ren (played by Alex Hopkins) who moves with his mum to a small town from Chicago to live with his aunt and uncle following the departure of his father from the family home.
Due to a sad and freak accident in this small town, dance and rock music has been made illegal by the local Reverend Shaw Moore. Shaw sadly lost his son in the freak accident along with 3 other people and he believes the way to prevent it happening again is to outlaw youngsters having fun! Shaw was played by Andrew Cornell and I have to say that for me, he was the star of the show! He was so in character that I began to believe that it actually was him and not an actor. He also had a fantastic voice and sang with emotion and feeling.
Ren has to make Shaw reverse his law and allow kids to have a dance – can he achieve this? I am not going to tell you! It wouldn’t be a teenage based musical if you didn’t have a love story too and this contained 2 very special such romances. One involving the Reverend Moore’s daughter Ariel (Saxona Woolgar) and Ren and another involving Ren’s friend Willard Hewitt (played by Dan Lacey) and Rusty (played by Bethany Landsteroner). These two were hilarious together. They played their roles to perfection and everyone in the audience was dying for them to get together. Dan played the rather loveable Willard brilliantly and Bethany threw some serious dance moves and vocals herself.
The whole performance of the show was of a very high standard. The set was simple but effective and the costumes were 80’s classics. The band sat on stage behind the set and they were equally as professional as the cast themselves.
The show was an extremely well put on performance and myself, my friend and our kids absolutely loved it, including my 4-year-old son who fell in love with Saxona and her red boots!
I would thoroughly recommend this local performance to all ages and it is a perfect family night out. So, get out there and support our local talent and encourage them to keep going with these outstanding productions. Well done to all, you should all be feeling very proud!
Tickets cost £15 to £19 (booking fees may apply).
Footloose the Musical at the The Hawth in Crawley from 25-27 October 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit hawth.co.uk or call the box office on 01293 553636.
The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, Sussex, RH10 6YZ | 01293 553636