Footloose, the stage musical based on the popular 1984 teen film of the same name, arrived at the West End’s Novello Theatre last night (18 April, previews from 8 April), following two successful UK tours (See Today’s Other News for our Reviews Round-up).

For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer was on hand at the opening night party at Smollensky’s on the Strand, which was also attended by guests including Steps’ Faye Tozer and Lisa Scott Lee, League of Gentleman’s Mark Gatiss, Holly Oaks’ Simon James Cole and Keira Danson and former Doctor Who stars Sylvester McCoy, Nicola Bryant as well as members of the company led by Derek Hough, Lorna Want, Stephen McGann and Cheryl Baker from Bucks Fizz.

Footloose centres on city boy Ren (Hough) who moves with his mother to the small American town of Bomont where rock music and dancing are outlawed for religious reasons. Sparks fly when Ren and the minister's teenaged daughter Ariel (Want) 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.

Footloose is directed and choreographed by Karen Bruce and produced by Mark Goucher, Michael Rose, Tristan Baker and Jason Haigh-Ellery.

- by Terri Paddock


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