Footloose Review

Alhambra Theatre, Bradford – until Saturday 25th June 2022.

Reviewed by Aimee Liddington


It’s the 1980’s and Ren McCormack has just moved from the vibrant bustling city of Chicago to the much less impressive town of Bomont. Ren quickly settles into his new life but one thing seems to be troubling him: he just can’t stand still and that’s exactly what the town has ordered him to do. According to the law in Bomont, dancing of any kind is prohibited but despite his better judgement, Ren just can’t stop moving his feet. Through the ups and downs of teenagehood, Ren shows us that anything is possible if you want it enough.

The seemingly ridiculous tale of a town that banned dancing is actually based on a true story and we have creator Dean Pitchford to thank for bringing it all the way from Midwest America to our stages today. Inspired by a few lines read in a newspaper in 1979, Pitchford wrote his first draft of the critically acclaimed film ‘Footloose’ and it was finally released in 1984. Nearly 15 years later, the show opened on Broadway and has been performed around the world ever since.

The first UK production opened in 2004 and the amazing touring cast of today are certainly doing this well known and loved musical justice. The talents of the entire ensemble are to be commended with a full set of musical talents ranging from their ability to sing unwavering notes or play a range of instruments whilst moving energetically around the stage to the ability to act and engage with the audience spontaneously and charismatically. In what could be a chaotic whirlwind of events, Director Racky Plews alongside Choreographer Matt Cole and Set and Costume Designer Sara Perks seem to create order on the stage and make the scenes visually appealing for the audience.

Lucy Munden who is making her professional debut in Footloose as Ariel Moore astounds the audience with her strong singing voice and her rendition of ‘Holding Out for a Hero’ is spectacular. Even more beautiful is the emotion displayed in ‘Almost Paradise’ which is duetted with Joshua Hawkins who plays the part of Ren McCormack. Other strong singers are Holly Ashton who plays Vi Moore and Wendy Paver who plays Ethel McCormack. The talents of these three women are showcased in ‘Learning to Be Silent’ which tells the all too familiar story of the silent role women played for so many years.

A review would not be completed without a mention of Jake Quickenden who plays the role of Willard Hewitt. The moment Quickenden appears on the stage, the energy changes and his ability to play the simple but cheeky chappy has the audience giggling and gasping throughout. He appears to be an all rounder showing himself as a talented singer, actor, dancer and musician and his showmanship is evident.

If you’re looking for a show which will have you dancing and singing along in your seat and will have you up out of your seat by the end, it’s time to cut loose and go and see Footloose.