REVIEW: ‘Footloose’, Pendle Hippodrome Youth Theatre

Pendle Hippodrome Youth Theatre's cast for  the musical "Footloose".
Pendle Hippodrome Youth Theatre's cast for the musical "Footloose".

CAPABLE young performers kept their audience very much alive when they first staged “Footloose the Musical” on Wednesday and sang 16 super songs.

Pendle Hippodrome Youth Theatre is staging the show this week at the Hippodrome in Colne and it is going down well. There is great singing, great dancing and lots of entertainment.

It is directed by Lisa Manley, with Tim Mason musical director and Helen Green choreographer.

It is set in the USA and the cast manages American accents so well you feel they have come across the Atlantic to take part! It’s a story about a church minister who bans dance and gets battled.

From start to finish there are lively songs, most of which include active dancing. The costumes, lighting and stage scenes are very effective, and the stage team sets up scenes at high speed.

There is a bit of a problem with sound as you can’t always hear what everyone says, but the music does come across okay. Four girls in particular make a great group and are spectacular singers and dancers.

Top songs include “Holding Out for a Hero”, “Let’s Hear it for the Boy”, “Can You Find it in Your Heart”, “Mama Says”, “Almost Paradise” and “Footloose”.

Robyn Hargreaves is great as Ariel – she is thoroughly entertaining and sings and dances with quality. And Marcus Geldard as Ren is also full of ability – a real character. Joining Ariel in drama, dance and music are three other great girls: Rusty (Jess Balderstone), Urleen (Laura Schofield) and Wendy-Jo (Brogan Riley).

There are also some interesting performances from the two who play Ariel’s parents - Lewis Bolton as the Rev. Shaw Moore, the man against dance, and Jade Brett as mum Vi. Both of them are musically magical as well as having great stage presence.

Danielle Edwards is another real character as Ethel, Ren’s mum.

Nick Staton plays Willard, a tall, slim cowboy who keeps the audience awake, and Stephen Collinge is enjoyable as Chuck.

Other parts are played by Chloe Richardson, James Hall, Amy Spencer, Ryan Sparks, Lydia Stockdale, Regan Kerr, Paige Brett, Chloe Craig, Harley Horsfall, Leigh Hunt, Jake Cordeaux, Ben Fontaine, Madison Pearson and Jack Parry. A super team.

The band plays very well, too, and is a real pleasure. Act Two is even more enjoyable that Act One, but they are both great.