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Review: Footloose, Orchard Theatre, Dartford
THE 1980s danced back into life at the Orchard Theatre last night as this year’s Summer Youth Project, Footloose, seize the stage.
Josh Baker played Ren McCormack who moves from Chicago to small-town Bomont where dancing is against the rules.
The audience was captivated from the moment he opened the show, back-flipping across the stage, spinning in the air and singing his heart out all show long.
It goes without saying, that Footloose retained its amazing, ‘shoulder-pad’ era soundtrack, including personal favourite Holding Out for a Hero which Aerial Moore, played by Georgina Wiley, sang angelically acapella to begin with before the music kicked in and the female cast joined in singing and dancing as the theatre balcony flashed blue.
The adorable chorus and dancers boogied in the aisles, making the audience apart of the show and bringing it alive.
Slow-witted cowboy Willard (Thomas Falconar) added hilarity to the production with his whacky mannerisms and dialogue. His fun dance performance alongside Ren and his friends was based on his mother’s bizarre affirmations which left onlookers chuckling, however he had a great voice and sang consistently in a country boy accent.
At times the accents of some other characters staggered between American and English but generally held their tune well whilst singing, especially Vi Moore played wonderfully by Ellie Homer who belted out a heartfelt solo in the second half.
The Footloose finale was impressive and burst with energy as disco lights lit up the theatre and glittering streamers fell from the sky.
Dressed up in party gear, the cast danced superbly in sync and sang along with great enthusiasm.
The audience joined in and clapped to the classic soundtrack as we all fell in love with the 80s again.
Director Richard Peakman produced a brilliant performance considering he had just two weeks to guide 200 local youngsters into a remake of the world-renowned musical.
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