As previously tipped (See News, 13 Oct 2005), Footloose, the stage musical based on the popular 1984 teen film of the same name, will transfer to the West End this spring at the end of its current UK tour. It opens at the Novello Theatre (formerly the Strand) on 12 April 2006 (previews from 8 April).

Footloose centres on city boy Ren who moves with his mother 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 Ariel rebel. The film version starred Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer.

Several of Kenny Loggins and Bonnie 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 Bobbie and Dean Pitchford, who wrote the original screenplay - had its Broadway premiere in October 1998, running for nearly two years. The musical received its UK premiere in February 2004, launching its extensive first tour from Plymouth (See News, 4 Jul 2003). The current tour opened on 5 January 2006 at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre. In Manchester this week, it continues until 25 March, to Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Woking and Plymouth.

Footloose is directed and choreographed by Karen Bruce and produced by Mark Goucher, Michael Rose, Tristan Baker and Jason Haigh-Ellery. Currently at the Novello, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Comedies season finishes on 25 March.

- by Caroline Ansdell