12th March 2013
Grand Theatre Wolverhampton
Type of Production
Author: Alf Rai deputising for Jean Beard
Muscom's version of "Footloose" exploded onto the stage of the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton last night in spectacular style.
A musical based on the film starring Kevin Bacon, it is a simple story of a teenager transported from the big city to a small town where frivolities such as music and dancing are banned. The wayward teen must battle against the strict Reverend who controls the town and happens to be the father of the girl he likes. The stage version isn't quite as risque as the film, but it certainly has its fair share of pelvic thrusts and teenage rebellion as the productions is full of 80's pop anthems.
The production itself is most certainly full throttle and it has to be said that, although the story is based around a guy, the girls danced and sang with equal enthusiasm along side the boys last night. The four principal girls Ariel (Holly Stringfellow), Urleen (Niamh Allen), Rusty (Franchesca Fogoe) and Wendy Jo (Claudia Gilmore) gave an amazing rendition of that old classic "Hero" which brought thunderous applause from the audience who were kept both enthralled and laughing during the entire performance as an excellent script was teamed with some fabulous musical numbers.
Although Holly Stringfellow was simply outstanding as Ariel Moore it wasn't all about the girls. Principal male leads Ren (David Walters), Willard (Alec White) and Lyle (Ty Harris) were perfect in their parts. Alec is proving to be a real West End star in the making with comedy timing that is second to none.
Excellent supporting performances from the cast grown-ups too. Rev. Shaw Moore (Chris Wolverson), Vi Moore (Rose Lister), Ethel (Kathryn Fisher) and, of course, the evergreen performer and President of Muscom , Jeremy Hobbs (Principal Harry Clark)
The finale of "Footloose" was performed with every bit as much energy as it was in the beginning, with feet flying and dancers leaping in the air.
The show was the perfect choice to showcase the usual slick choreography from Denise Robinson, performed brilliantly by the dance troop, including a young team of dancers who coped well with Denise's rigorous routines, complemented by the orchestra controlled by the talented Musical Director, Karl Babarczi.
There were a few opening night technical issues with the sound but this didn't stop the audience from showing their appreciation of the West End show at its best brought to Wolverhampton.