REVIEW: Footloose The Musical (The Orchard Theatre, Dartford)


Footloose The Musical tells the story about a city boy Ren, played by Luke Baker, who is forced to move to Bromont, a town in America where dancing is banned. It isn’t long before he decides to break the rules and soon after, despite some resistance, he has the town on their feet.

The show features some 80’s classics such as “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” and “Almost Paradise”. Not forgetting the smash hit “Footloose” which you cannot help but tap your feet and sing along to!

Another classic, “Holding Out for A Hero”, results in Willard, the town nerd, played by Gareth Gates, having his overalls ripped off showing off his oily torso. The female members of the audience appeared to enjoy this number, although it did feel a little too cheesy and out of place.

Nigel Lister and Maureen Nolan play the respective parents of Ariel, played by Natasha Brown. The audience follows the story of Ariel and Ren and her subsequent struggles at dealing with how her father treats her.

I really enjoyed the actor-musician element of the show and how the majority of the cast played instruments at some point. This blended in well and was enjoyable to see. However during Act 1, I struggled to keep up with the storyline as there was so much activity on stage.

The set for this production was good, although in some scenes it became quite bland. Although I did like how the musicians were incorporated into the set in most scenes.

Footloose has plenty of things for everybody to enjoy and will have you foot-tapping and singing along to some classic songs of the 1980’s.

Reviewed by Sam Harler
Photo: Matt Martin

Footloose is currently playing at The Orchard Theatre until 13th February, then embarking on a UK wide tour until October 2016