Let’s hear it for the boys and girls of Big Bad Wolf...
And what a show it is! A filmed montage at the start sets the scene effectively for what is to follow; the death of four teenagers is a tragedy the town cannot come to terms with and dancing has been banned by the town’s preacher, Reverend Shaw.
But while there’s a captivating story being told there is also boundless energy and fantastic choreography from the huge cast – who open with a dazzling chorus number.
We’re introduced to Ren McCormack, a teenage boy from Chicago, who is forced to move with mother to the small town of Bomont after his father abandons them.
Paul MacDonald is brilliant as the troubled teen, whose love of dancing and bright, sparky personality can’t fit in to the small town where somebody’s eyes are always watching.
One of those watching him is the Reverend Shaw’s troubled daughter, Ariel. and Lois McKean perfectly captures her bad girl attitude that hides a softer, sadder side.
The two lead performers are both talented dancers and singers, matched by the supporting cast.
There ia lovely, comical performance from Euan Arthur as Willard who charms the audience with his would-be girlfriend Rusty, beautifully played by Daisy Campbell.
The emotional heart of the story is carried by the Reverend Shaw (Freddie Bang) and his wife, Vi (Hannah Parsons).
It’s amazing how such a young cast really get across the pathos of the story with strong acting and singing from Freddie, Hannah and Erin MacInnes, who plays Ren’s mum.
It’s very hard to single anyone out in such a strong cast but Hannah Parson’s solo was exceptional – not just melodic and sweet but really telling the story.
That said, all of the principal singers – male and female – are fantastic, with beautiful harmonies to complement the amazing dancing from the dance corps.
There are just too many people in this show to mention them all individually but there is not a single weak performance from this talented young cast, from the chorus to the leads.
Congratulations to director Linsay Dowell and the production team who put this all together – they’ve really got the best from their young cast and created a show that’s fun, energetic, jam packed with songs but with a big heart.
It’s fair to say that Big Bad Wolf Children’s Theatre Company blew me away.
Footloose is at FTH until Feburary 2.
Ren McCormack, Paul MacDonald; Ariel Moore, Lois McKean; Rev Shaw Moore, Freddie Bang; Vi Moore, Hannah Parsons; Willard Hewitt, Euan Arthur; Rusty, Daisy Campbell; Ethel McCormack, Erin MacInnes; Chuck Cranston, Daniel Scrymgeour; Urleen, Amy Allan; Wendy-Jo, Ella Dowell; Coach Dunbar, Callum Allan; Eleanor Dunbar, Abby Renwick, Aunt Lulu Warnicker, Erin Lake; Wes Warnicker/Travis, Robbie Allan, Principal Clark, Luke McGuire; Betty Blast, Iona Kelly; Lyle/Cop, Aidan Harland; Cowboy Bob, Duncan Brown; Cowgirl, Natalie Johnstone; Bickle, Alessandro Sportelli; Jeter, Ryan Carlyle; Garvin, Lochlan Black.
Dance corps: Shelby Walker, Eve Pearson, Kara Russell, Sophie MacDonald, Jorja McFadden, Jessica Riddoch, Erin Hartel, Chloe Robertson Principal singers: Megan Broadley, Duncan Brown, Alyssa Cannon, Jenna Hamilton, Aidan Harland, Abby Renwick. Chorus: Amber Afzaal, Alyssa Allan, Nadine Anderson, Eva Baxter, Rowan Brockie, Orla Cannon, Daisy Devlin, Ross Duff, Charlie Evans, Amy Gallacher, Lauren Gardner, Alice Haughton, Ella Hawthorne, Fraser Herron, Lucy Hume, Catie Hynes, Iona Hynes, Miya Johnston, Abi Kelly, Carter Lumsden, Alexander Majoribanks, Sarah Millar, Grace McBride, Lily McGuire, Lucy McNaughton, Zak Nicholson, Kenzie Railey, Blair Reid, Greg Sinclair, Ross Sinclair, Bethany Spowart, Ruby Walker, Phoebe Williams. Opening movie: Katy Walsh, Gregor Jack, Karis Black, Adam Stewart, Caitlin Peattie-Hume, Chloe Gallacher, Lois Smillie, Sarah Williamson