Review: Footloose @ New Theatre
New Theatre, Cardiff
Monday 29th February 2016
Footloose, the musical that screams '80s with its big hair, funky fashion and rock 'n' roll music. I didn't have a chance to live at that time and know about what it was like only from the parents' photographs and movies, yet the '80s had such a massive impact on our culture that we still remember and speak of it warmly.
The original Footloose dates back to 1984, and from the first minutes of Dean Pitchford's stage adaptation, you can tell he's a big fan of the movie: from stage decorations to hairstyles, it's like the beloved scenes from the movie came back to live once again, this time with even more drive and passion.
Unlike many musicals, Footloose is not just songs and dances. Brilliant jokes and brave irony make it special and different from other musicals of the kind. For the two and a half hours you're in the theatre, you live and breathe together with the actors, finding yourself mesmerized by the atmosphere created by the director's crew, so much that it becomes impossible to keep seated during parts like 'I can't stand still' or 'Let's hear it for the boy'.
The audience's favourite bits seemed to be the performance of 'Holding out for a Hero' by Hannah Price (Ariel Moore) with Gareth Gates' (Willard) brilliant dance, as well as 'Let's hear it for the boy' by the Company. People sang and snapped along as the actors kept rocking the stage with powerful voices and groovy dancing.
The Footloose finale kept the cast on the scene for quite some time, while they received the audience's standing ovation. You could see a lot more smiles on people's faces while leaving the theatre - Footloose is definitely a show that will make your day.
Having visited Pitchford's Bomont myself, I recommend you spending several hours in the city: experience American '80s as you turn into a rebellious teenager, following the characters' journey on the way to the true freedom of expression.
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Images credits: New Theatre