Footloose at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

FOR those of us old enough to remember the iconic 80s film Footloose, the latest production at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre should be right up your street.

A star-studded show featuring Darren Day as Rev Shaw Moore and Jake Quickenden as Willard Hewitt this stage adaptation of the 1984 film Footloose is an energetic and thoroughly professional dance and song fest.

The story is based on true events and features the tale of Ren McCormack – a Chicago based young man played brilliantly by Joshua Hawkins who is forced to live in Bible Belt of America in a small town which is based on the real Elmore City in Oklahoma.

In Elmore City public dancing was banned for over 90 years amid a belief that dancing was immoral. In this stage version of the story the town’s reverend is played by Darren Day.

Day is a pure delight as the silver fox Rev Shaw Moore who believes he is upholding his late son’s memory by continuing the dance ban.

If you haven’t seen or heard Darren Day he is wonderful with a beautiful voice which really resonated with the Cheltenham audience.

He carried the conflicted character of the Reverend with aplomb.

Making her professional theatre debut was Lucy Munden as the beautiful reverend’s daughter Ariel Moore with a wonderful voice and superb danceability.

Oonagh Cox played girl Rusty brining a real zing to the part and Tom Mussell was strong as small town hard man Chuck.

The only moment which surpassed Darren Day’s voice was when Jake Quickenden stripped to a pair of tiny golden shorts leaving the audience swooning in their seats.

The dancing was superb on the practical stage but the real wow factor is that the actors all play real instruments to great effect.

Watching talented people perform live on stage is a pure joy and the 80s soundtrack packed in some cracking numbers which were a real bonus in this stage adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie.

Footloose is at the Everyman until Saturday April 9.

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