Review: Footloose, Theatre Royal, Newcastle

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DOING this job you end up seeing a lot of musicals. But Footloose, it has to be said, is one of my favourites.

Maybe it’s the pop-tastic score, maybe it’s the enthusiastic cast or maybe it’s the rather optimistic view that dancing can heal the wounds of a scarred community. Whatever it is, Footloose is infectious.

Last time I saw the show, Cheryl Cole’s “alleged” new beau Derek Hough was in the lead role of the dancer from the big smoke, Ren McCormack.

His were tough dancing shoes to fill, but new kid on the block Max Milner does it well.

I felt there were a few glitchs with his enunciation of song lyrics, but you couldn’t fault his vocal tone and footwork which were pitch and beat-perfect.

Former Busted star Matt Willis also shone on the night as Arial’s bully boyfriend Chuck Cranston. His captivating stage presence had the audience hooked, It’s just a shame his is a comparatively small role.

Also excellent was dancing dark horse Giovanni Spano as Willard Hewitt.

He had the audience whooping along with support as the boy who can’t dance who ends up pulling out the moves and out-dancing them all.

Another star of the show is the music. Holding Out for a Hero and Let’s Hear It For The Boy were top-tapping highlights, but it was finale, Footloose, that had everyone out of their seats.

There wasn’t a still pair of feet in the house.

Katy Wheeler