Footloose

Yesterday, we went to see 'Footloose' in London. It had David Essex in it, Cheryl baker was on the poster but we didn't see her - her day off? The numbers were good, 'Footloose', 'Holding out for a Hero' (it got a bit Chippendale for my liking in there... I turned to Monica and asked where the Village People all came from), 'Let's Hear it for the Boy' was a great number, however, the overall effect was unsatisfying.

It's hard to put a finger on it, everything was executed to a T, but I found it to be a predictable and by the numbers show.

As a case in point, just prior to 'Holding out for a hero' there are several women at the diner, to paraphrase, one says something like 'I need a man with style and intelligence', another says 'I need a man with good looks and charm... and then the other says, in a sad voice and with the inevitability of Superman saving Lois Lane, 'I need a man'.

David Essex plays the Reverend, who is adament in his support for a law banning dancing, and is then turned around in an instant by rather feeble arguments to the contrary. I thought that David Essex looked rather bored in places, and he's only been in the show for a short time.

It all seemed, well, 'thin'. The medley at the end was the best bit!

I found myself mentally replacing cast members with various celebrities to stave off boredom - for instance, there is one bit where the protaganist (who bears a resemblence to Kevin Bacon) sings a sappy duet with the love interest gal. They were mentally replaced by Kylie and Jason (it was still a bit Sappy).

The woman who sang 'let's hear it for the boy' became Jane from Coupling (BBC2) for her ability to stand in front of her love interest looking keen. The headmaster was a sort of cross between Mr. Bronson from Grange Hill and Harold from Neighbours. There were others, I forget them all.

As we left, we overheard one woman saying 'the people in front of us went out at the interval and didn't come back'. Her friend replied, 'Ooh, that's really bad' - thereby completely missing the point that the audience is under no obligation to stay.

Overall: It really is a well executed piece of theatre, the cast were good, the effects too (the opening to the show was very effective - the lights worked very well), and the medley at the end was great. Nevertheless it doesn't satisfy - the basic premise is rather thin. I've not seen the film, but Monica said that the show doesn't live up to it.

So far this year, we've also seen Avenue Q and Stomp. Both knock Footloose out for the count. I preferred Avenue Q, and Monica preferred Stomp - although for both of us it's a close call.