Footloose Receives UK Debut on the Road in 2004Date: 4 July 2003
As previously tipped (See The Goss, 19 Jun 2003), the Broadway musical will next year embark on a six-month, nationwide tour ahead of a possible West End transfer. The show's premiere UK production will open at the Theatre Royal Plymouth on 5 February 2004 before continuing until mid-August to more than 20 further venues.
Based on the 1984 Hollywood film starring Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer, Footloose centres on city boy Ren who moves with his family to a small town in middle America where rock music and dancing are outlawed for religious reasons. Sparks fly when Ren and the minister's teenaged daughter rebel.
Several of Kenny Loggins and Bonny Tyler's songs from the movie - including "Let's Hear It for the Boy", "Almost Paradise", "Holding Out for a Hero" and the title song - became chart-topping pop hits.
The stage adaptation - with a book by Walter Bobby and Dean Pitchford, who wrote the original screenplay - had its Broadway premiere in October 1998, running for nearly two years. The musical has been touring continental Europe for the past six months.
The new production will be directed by Leicester Haymarket artistic director Paul Kerryson, whose many other recent musicals include Rent, Follies and, opening next month at the Royal Festival Hall, On Your Toes with Adam Cooper. It will be choreographed by Karen Bruce and is expected to feature new compositions by veteran heavy metal rocker Meat Loaf.
Footloose is presented in the UK by a team of West End producers Mark Goucher, Michael Rose, Tristan Baker and Gary Gunas for Clear Channel Entertainment. Between them, their current West End musical hits include Fame, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Calamity Jane.
Following Plymouth, the musical is due to visit Birmingham, Sunderland, High Wycombe, Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Manchester, Belfast, Cheltenham, Bromley, Glasgow, Bradford, Bristol, Darlington, Hull, Brighton, Liverpool, Leicester, Jersey, Milton Keynes and Southampton. Exact dates have yet to be finalised.
- by Terri Paddock