Footloose The Musical: Go see this foot stomping spectacle guaranteed to make you smile

The smash-hit 80s musical movie of the same name is responsible for catapulting its leading man, Kevin Bacon, to big screen super stardom and mobile phone advertisement fame.

This stage version cuts loose from its movie original and provides us with more from these much loved characters.

Footloose The Musical tells the story of Chicago teenager Ren McCormack who relocates along with his mother to the small town of Bomont after his father abandons them.

Here he encounters a zealous preacher who has banned dancing and music in the wake of a tragedy which resulted in the death of four young people including his son.

Joshua Hawkins is fantastic as Ren, providing a truly emotionally charged portrayal of this teenage fish out of water and choreography and dance moves to rival a young Bacon.

Ren’s wingman, Willard (Chris Penn in the movie) is played with aplomb, by X-Factor and Hollyoaks heartthrob Jake Quickenden.

His take on the not so quick-witted student, who has an inability to dance, is both charming and warm – demonstrated during the song Mama Says (You Can’t Back Down).

And don’t be fooled by Willard’s apparent inexperience on the dancefloor.

Quickenden, who is an ex-Dancing On Ice’s contestant, managed to draw screams from audience members thanks to his moves – resulting in him revealing a pair of gold hotpants.

North Wales Pioneer: Jake Quickenden in his hotpants. Picture: Mark Senior.Jake Quickenden in his hotpants. Picture: Mark Senior.

Willard’s biggest fan however remains Rusty, played by the delightful Oonagh Cox, who did a remarkable job taking on lead vocal duties on Deniece Williams’ anthemic hit Lets Hear it for the Boy.

TV personality Darren Day shares top billing with Jake Quickenden in this touring production.

However the role of Reverend Shaw Moore was taken over on Tuesday by Ben Barrow, who did a sterling job as the minister struggling to combine his faith with his duties as a parent to his rebellious daughter Ariel.

This rebel without a course is portrayed by the outstanding Lucy Mundon.

Her powerhouse vocal performance on Holding Out For a Hero, and her heartfelt duet with Hawkins on the song Almost Paradise proved particular highlights.

Other notable performances came from Holly Ashton as Rev Shaun’s wife Vi, Anna Westlake as Aunt Lulu, Wendy Paver as Ethel McCormack and Dan Miles as Ariel’s abusive partner Chuck.

Despite a little too much reimagining of the show’s title track for this reviewer’s liking, the show’s pulsating live soundtrack is another star of the show and is to be savoured particularly as nearly all the actors are given the task of playing live instruments.

A standout example of this came from Miles whose saxophone solos soared.

If you’re after a fun, uplifting theatre visit Footloose The Musical is for you having all the necessary ingredients to have you applauding and tapping your feet.

Footloose The Musical is at Venue Cymru until Saturday May 28. For tickets visit www.venuecymru.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01492 872000.

North Wales Pioneer | Llandudno