Review: Footloose at the Empire Theatre

Bomont comes to Liverpool, as Footloose dances its way to The Empire theatre on its current tour. Based on the 1984 cult film starring Kevin Bacon, this musical adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie, directed by Racky Plews and choreographed by Matthew Cole is at the Liverpool Empire theatre until the 14th May.

The musical is an interesting combination of a jukebox musical which had the audience singing along, whilst fitting it all within the narrative with original numbers too. For this musical, it’s all about the story, dance and music.

After his father walks away, teenager Ren McCormack is moved to the small town of Bomont, where he quickly discovers it a traditional town, where the town council has banned music and dancing. He begins to fall for Ariel Moore, the daughter of local vicar Rev. Shaw Moore, the orchestrator of conservative views of the town council. It’s not long before Ren cannot keep his feet still, and can’t resist breaking the rules. The heart of the story is relationships, between a father and daughter, a husband and wife, and the friendship of the young people of the town.

View the UK National Tour trailer below:

An opening announcement reminds audiences to switch off mobile phones, and informs the audience that “All instruments seen on stage are performed live”. Quite a feat for this amazingly talented company to act, dance, sing/play an instrument and perform all at once!

The company are all talented performers with stunning voices, who really own the songs, especially the classic hits like Holding Out for a Hero (Bonnie Tyler), Almost Paradise (Mike Reno) and Let’s Hear it for the Boy (Deniece Williams). Singer Maureen Nolan of The Nolans gave a stunning and emotive rendition of Can you find it in your heart? in her role as Vi Moore. The harmonies provided by all the cast were spectacular to hear, but the powerful voices of the female cast were demonstrated in Learning to be Silent and Holding Out for a Hero.

The two leads Luke Baker (Ren) and Hannah Price (Ariel) gave an impassioned performance of Almost Paradise that almost had me believing they were in a relationship. Baker is a talented dancer with the chance to demonstrate his skills dancing on top of the set and around an accomplished choreographed gym scene.

The musical brings the audience on the same journey as the characters, as the musical goes on and the performance comes more alive, the audience was left at the end standing and dancing to a reprise of the title track Footloose.

If you’ve been working so hard, it’s time to kick off those revision blues, and cut Footloose!

 

Footloose | Liverpool Empire Theatre

9th – 14th May 2016

Mon – Sat evenings 7.30pm, Wed & Sat matinees 2.30pm

Tickets from just £12 visit for further details atgtickets.com/Liverpool

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