Footloose: The Musical comes to Edinburgh, starring Gareth Gates

Theatre-goers in the Capital can cut loose and get on their dancing shoes when the Festival Theatre hosts the first Scottish dates of a brand new touring production of the worldwide smash hit musical Footloose: The Musical, starring Gareth Gates as Willard and Maureen Nolan as Vi Moore.

The UK tour, which runs in Edinburgh from Tuesday 16 to Saturday 20 February, will have additional Scottish dates in Glasgow and Aberdeen in June 2016.

Based on the 1984 screen sensation starring Kevin Bacon, Footloose: The Musical tells the story of city boy Ren, who has to move to a rural backwater in America where dancing is banned. All hell breaks out as Ren breaks loose and soon has the whole town up on its feet.

Featuring classic 80s hits including Holding Out for a Hero, Almost Paradise, Let’s Hear it for the Boy and the unforgettable title track, Footloose: The Musical is set to take the world by storm once again in this brand new production, bursting with youthful spirit, dazzling dance and electrifying music.

 When the film was released in 1984, it became the highest-grossing February release in US film history.  The soundtrack album ended the year-long reign of Michael Jackson’s Thriller at number one and went on to top album charts all over the world, eventually selling in excess of 17 million copies.

Footloose was nominated for a Golden Globe, and both the title song and Let’s Hear It for the Boy received Academy Award nominations. Footloose: The Musical first opened on Broadway in 1998 where it ran for 709 performances, with a London production following in 2006, opening at the Novello Theatre following a UK Tour.

Gates, who shot to fame on Pop Idol on 2001, going on to sell over five million records worldwide before carving out a hugely successful career in musical theatre, will play Willard from 29 January until 16 April, returning to the show from 20 June 2016.

Nolan has been singing with her sisters since she was nine years old, when they became one of Europe’s first girl bands, The Nolans. Best known for their smash hit single I’m in the Mood for Dancing, The Nolans enjoyed phenomenal record sales worldwide, and worked with some of the world’s most respected artists including Frank Sinatra.

Luke Baker will play Ren McCormack, the role immortalised on screen by Kevin Bacon. Luke is about to finish playing Theo in Green Day’s American Idiot in the West End, with other West End credits including the Olivier Award-winning Sunny Afternoon, Beautiful Thing and I Can’t Sing.

The cast also features Hannah Price as Ariel Moore, Nigel Lister as Reverend Shaw Moore, Nicky Swift as Ethel McCormack, Joanna Sawyer as Rusty, Matthew Tomlinson as Chuck, Natasha Brown as Wendy-Jo, Miracle Chance as Urleen and Scott Haining as Bickie.

Footloose: The Musical, Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, Tuesday 16 – Saturday 20 February, 7.30pm (Thursday and Saturday matinees, 2.30pm),  £22-£42, 0131 529 6000, www.edtheatres.com