Footloose

Footloose

The Hawth theatre

COS Musical Theatre was delighted to present Footllose The Musical, at The Hawth theatre in October.
One of the most explosive movie musicals in recent memory bursts onto the live stage with exhilarating results. When Ren and his mother move from Chicago to a small farming town, Ren is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school. What he isn't prepared for are the rigorous local edicts, including a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher, determined to exercise the control over the town's youth that he cannot command in his own home. When the reverend's rebellious daughter sets her sights on Ren, her roughneck boyfriend tries to sabotage Ren's reputation, with many of the locals eager to believe the worst about the new kid. The heartfelt story that emerges is of a father longing for the son he lost and of a young man aching for the father who walked out on him.

Footloose

Ren - Alex Hopkins 
Ariel - Saxona Woolgar
Willard - Dan Lacey
Rusty - Bethany Landskroner
Wendy Jo - Charly Ralph
Urleen - Maddy Sproston
Rev Shaw - Andrew Cornell
Vi - Jo Williams
Ethel - Beccy Cowlard
Lulu - Nita Graham
Betty - Sarah Thompson
Chuck - Jonny Jones
Cowboy Bob - Spencer Turnbull

Dancers
Chloe Froud
Niamh Welberry
Holly Bird
Harriet Cosh
Charlotte Cosh
Rachel Fisk
Gina Ould
Charlotte Punt
Georgia Wright
Helen Heppell
Kirsty Franks
Ryan Hicks
Anika Lefrevre
Grace Graham
Hannah Carpenter

Ensemble
Nancy Sproston
Nicola Barnikel
Joshua Squire
Damien Brettkelly
Petra Davies
Melanie Hill
Caroline Marshall
Paul Milwright
Susan Perry
Katie Paine 
Norman Wyeth
Mollie Wheeler
Mervyn Wakelin
Glen Cowlard
Chris Powell
Kevin Wort

If anyone likes a show with true ‘feel good’ factor they need look no further than this musical. Footloose has everything you would want in a show, good music, good dancing, an acceptable plot and some great humour. Bomont is a small town ruled by the local minister and a pathetic council who are all convinced that young people should never have fun and certainly never dance. Ren is a new arrival in the town who sets out to loosen up the restrictions having been raised in Chicago. The fact that he is very soon attracted to the reverends daughter, Arial, only adds fuel to the fire. There are numerous altercations before the reverend comes to accept that dancing is not a great evil and the story ends on a much happier note. The whole show was very slick with great principals, strong vocals and dance routines, swift scene changes with excellent lighting and costumes and the entire cast performing with drive and energy creating an excellent production.
In terms of leading characters COS made a ideal choice in Alex Hopkins as Ren who was perfect in every way with the ability to sing, act and dance exceptionally well. He sang and performed ‘I Can’t Stand Still’ so dynamically I can honestly say that I have never seen anything quite like it. He was brilliant. In total contrast his rendition of ‘Almost Paradise’ which he sang with Saxona Woolgar as Ariel was very moving. She portrayed her part convincingly as the sad, downtrodden daughter with a fighting spirit coming to the surface when disagreeing with her domineering father. The part of her mother played by Jo Williams was an equally moving performance as the downtrodden wife. ‘Can you Find it in Your Heart’ really pulled on the heart strings. Well done Jo.
As the bombastic minister, Andrew Cornell played the part with total conviction proving to be a huge asset to Crawley. The same must be said of Dan Lacey who performed so outstandingly. He was such a joy to watch never missing an opportunity to make the most of his humorous lines. All the other principals, supporting cast, dancers and ensemble, not to forget the hard working orchestra, gave of their all contributing to an excellent production.