REVIEW: Footloose at The Kings Theatre, Southsea

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Dancing may be banned from Bomont, West Virginia but thankfully it isn’t from the Kings.

Footloose tells the story of rebellious teen Ren McCormack who moves from Chicago to the small town in West Virginia where dancing has been made illegal.

The stage show is based on the 1984 film of the same name, starring Kevin Bacon.

Luke Baker is energetic as lead Ren, with a fantastic vocal range from his gorgeous gravel tones to flawless falsetto. Whilst he was a talented dancer, the choreography didn’t really show off his dancing talents quite enough.

Pop Idol sensation Gareth Gates, however, really had the audience swooning. His portrayal of slow-witted Willard Hewitt was endearing from start to finish, displaying his vocals in Mama Says and dancing in Let’s Hear It For The Boy.

Hannah Price was sensational as Ren’s love interest Ariel Moore, with her rendition of Holding Out for a Hero a clear crowd favourite. Her duet with Ren, Almost Paradise, was also a vocal highlight of the second act. Like many cast members, she played multiple musical instruments throughout the show.

Ariel’s trio of friends were vocally brilliant with tight harmonies, however, their dialogue occasionally rushed making them hard to understand.

Maureen Nolan pulled off the emotional numbers, but her American accent faltered in places.

You’ve got one more night to cut Footloose and I suggest you do!