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. All are used in the stage musical.
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 first tour from Plymouth (See News, 9 Jun 2004). After a second UK tour, the musical transferred in April 2006 to the West End’s Novello Theatre where it had a successful seven-month run but was forced to vacate to make way for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s annual West End residency (See News, 1 Sep 2006). Producers tried to find an alternative West End venue at the time but none were available.
The Playhouse has been dark sinceDancing in the Streets closure on 14 July. Following an autumn tour, Rufus Norris’ adaptation of Tintin moves in from 6 December to 28 February (See News, 29 Jun 2007), after which Footloose may return. No casting for the show’s new London run has yet been announced.
- by Ryan Woods