Last night saw the opening night of Footloose at The Grand Theatre. Running until the 2nd of July, Footloose stars Adam C Booth as Ren and Lorna Want is Ariel.
For those of you who don’t know, Footloose follows the life of Ren McCormack who, after his father leaves him and his mother alone in Chicago, they move to Beaumont to stay with his uncle. Due to a tragic accident involving the death of the local preachers son, dancing is outlawed in Beaumont and the tale follows Ren’s journey through bringing the joy of music and dance back into the lives of this small town and its people. The music is everybody’s favourite guilty pleasure, including ‘Footloose’, ‘I need a Hero’ and ‘Lets Hear it for the Boy’, it is hard to not start dancing in your chair (or the aisles as happened during the finale).
Overall, Footloose was just what you would want it to be; fun, heart-warming and overall very entertaining. The costumes and set were just as impressive as you would expect from a West End Show and the chorus and band were flawless.
However, the lead male, Ren McCormack played by Adam C Booth, was completely underwhelming. His singing was stretched, his acting positively cringing and his dancing lacklustre. The way he played Ren was not very likable and I felt no affinity with the lead character, which was disappointing. This seemed to be the general consensus of the audience, too, as he was the one character during the finale who did not receive a panoply of cheers. On the other hand, I must pay tribute to Jodie Jacobs (Rusty), her rendition of ‘Let’s Hear it for the Boy’ rang through as the best song throughout the production, hitting high notes that would make Maria Pelligrini jealous.
During the last act, there was a technical difficulty at the theatre and the lights came up for about ten minutes whilst they resolved the problem. This however did nothing to hinder the performance as the actors continued with amusing improv and they reclaimed the ambience with a show stopping final scene.
Overall – Footloose is an excellent example of an energetic, animated and vivacious musical. If you are looking for a playful treat, Footloose comes highly recommended.