Footloose starring Jake Quickenden at The Regent Theatre

Based on the 80s movie starring Kevin Bacon that my mum watched over and over and over again – Footloose has been translated into an energetic, vibrant and sizzling stage show that will have audiences cutting-loose.

Following two critically acclaimed tours and a West End run, the production is now showing at The Regent Theatre until Saturday, March 26.

The plot sees city boy Ren move to a small Southern town when his father walks out on him and his mother. But the rock ‘n’ roller is stunned to find that in Bomont, rock music and dancing is forbidden. 

Mark Senior

The local law came into force when the son of Rev. Shaw Moore lost his life in a car accident on the way home from a dance, alongside three other ‘young bright star’ residents.

Taking matters into his own hands, soon Ren has all hell breaking loose as he challenges the Reverend to get the whole town on its feet again.

Read more: Chicago at The Regent Theatre will Razzle Dazzle ya

The production sees an incredible quadruple-threat cast who can sing, dance, act and play live instruments – all at the same time. In one scene, one of the crew plays saxophone while wearing roller skates, while others jam with electric guitars skipping with a stage-long jump rope while Ren has his Troy Bolton style basketball moment.

Mark Senior

Dorky, dim-witted Willard is played by X-Factor star and Hollyoaks actor Jake Quickenden, who sports a look world’s apart from his usual Dreamboys tour. The lovable character ‘don’t talk much, he ain’t got much to say’, but he’ll stick up for the people he cares about when push comes to shove.

Jake styles a plaid shirt and denim dungarees with a Southern accent for the most part, besides one scene in which they’re ripped off to reveal some Kylie-inspired gold hot pants and glittery cowboy boots that proved to be the highlight of the show for some of the audience members. 

Mark Senior

And he’s not the only performer to get their kit off, with Ren – played by Joshua Hawkins – making everyone a little nervous about dropping his towel as he prances around Willard in the shower room.

But when the actors and actresses did have their gear on it was a sea of colour clashing off the shoulder tops, rara skirts, disco pants, boiler suits and cowboy boots. The preacher’s daughter, Ariel, stuns in red denim shorts and cowboy boots, while Oonagh Cox’s Rusty opts for a Fanta branded crop and skirt combo.

Love interest to Willard, Rusty really comes into her own as she performs Let’s Hear It For The Boy while Ren attempts to teach Willard to dance. It’s a song that’s a real earworm, and you’ll be humming it to yourself for days after the show. 

Mark Senior

Speaking of Ren and Willard, the couple have a real bromance chemistry on stage which is endearing to watch, but we’re really all rooting for Ren to get the girl, which is of course, Ariel, played by Lucy Munden, who performs a killer rendition of Holding Out For A Hero.

Other tracks you won’t be able to help but sing along to include The Girl Gets Around and Almost Paradise, while Wiillard’s ‘Mama Says’ will have you giggling in your seats.

Meanwhile, Vi, Ethel and Ariel’s performance of Learning To Be Silence was beautifully harmonised, and shone light on the misogynistic views of the time about women being seen and not heard. It was one of the most powerful parts of the show, and one that’s really stuck with me.

Mark Senior

West End star Darren Day makes a brilliant Rev. Shaw Moore. He’s the doting dad giving knowing ‘Fleabag’ looks to the audience, developing into a character the audience begin to become infuriated with as his melancholic attitude and guilty leaves him fearful. But it all ends in fun, laughter, smiles and dancing as the Rev finally cuts loose in a sequined tux that I’m rather envious of.

Read more: We Will Rock You at The Regent Theatre – guaranteed to blow your mind 

Energetic, vibrant and laugh-out-loud funny – Footloose offers a feel-good night out with a fantastic cast that throws you right back into the 80s. So lose your blues and cut Footloose at The Regent Theatre and see March out in style. Buy your tickets here.

Mark Senior
Mark Senior
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