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Review Footloose The Musical 2022

Ren and Ariel on a bridge in Footloose Musical
3 Mar 2022

Get your dancing shoes out as the Footloose The Musical UK Tour 2022 has now begun. We checked it out at Manchester Opera House and you can discover what we thought in our review here. 

Based on the 1980’s movie hit, Footloose The Musical tells the story of Ren a city boy from Chicago who is forced to move with his mum to rural Beaumont. He soon finds out this small town is worse than he could have imagined on discovering after a tragic accident dancing is banned. 

I am ashamed to admit that although I am a child of the 80’s I have never seen the iconic film and didn’t know what to expect. To correct some of my ignorance I took along a huge Footloose fan who was excited to see her favourite film of all time on the stage. 

The show opens with the title number as the cast instantly show off their dancing skills in the Chigaco club. From there I was reliably told that with a few exceptions the show follows the story of the film. Although it does air on the side of comedy rather than the darker moments. 

The tours headliners are Darren Day as the Reverend Moore the towns preacher who has banned dancing and Jake Quickenden as Willard Hewitt, only friend to Ren played by Joshua Hawkins.

Quickenden delighted the audience throughout. Proving that he could sing and dance and had perfect comedy timing. In fact, he literally shined in the show as he ripped off his dungarees revealing gold hot pants and which was greeted with sounds of appreciation, especially from the teenage girls sitting behind us. 

Review Footloose Tour 2022 Manchester

Willards love interest Rusty is played perfectly by Oonagh Cox. They have a great awkard chemsitry together and her rendition of Let’s Hear For The Boy was one of our favourites of the night. 

Joshua Hawkins brought lots of energy to the lead role of Ren whilst also managing to capture the serious side of character and was paired well with Lucy Munden as Ariel the Reverend’s rebel daughter. 

Munden certainly held her own portraying this strong female character. Her acting skills was equally matched to her voice and wowed singing the showstopper ‘Holding Out For a Hero’.

The ensemble also deserve a mention. Many had double roles along with playing numerous musical instruments right on the stage and performed well in the dance numbers. 

Review Footloose Tour 2022 cast

Both myself and my Footloose fanatic friend equally enjoyed the show. All the songs will be familiar whether you have seen the film or not and it was  hard not to sing along. After all the talk of dancing we found our own toes tapping and was thankful to be able to show off some of our own moves with an medley encoure.  

Footloose offers a night of fun, entertainment and a trip back to the 80’s and is a show not to miss. 

Footloose is playing at the Manchester Opera House until Saturday 5th March and tickets are available to purchase here.

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