Last night a friend and I went to Haymarket in Basingstoke to see the Basingstoke Amateur Theatrical Society (BATS) production of Footloose. I love going to Haymarket to see shows. It’s nicely situated in Basingstoke town centre so easily accesible and great for making the show into a whole day or evening occasion with a meal or drinks beforehand.
I love the Footloose story and I am a huge fan of the original movie so I couldn’t wait to see how it translated to the stage. The show did have a couple of technical hitches early on – slight sound and mic issues – but the cast moved on from that swiftly and didn’t let it effect their performance. Also, we went to see the show on it’s opening night, which has a reduced ticket price, and where you typically expect slight hiccups.
The story is based in America and the cast all had to talk and sing with American accents. This seemed to take the some of the cast a couple of scenes to get into but by the end of the first half they all looked like they were really enjoying themselves and were so in character. The show followed the Footloose story perfectly and within a few scenes we had got to know the characters, really felt for them and were singing along with them too.
Footloose is, overall, such an uplifting and inspiring story with such friendship, team spirit and a real never give up vibe to it. The cast really brought that to life on stage and although it was put together and performed by the Basingstoke ‘Amateur’ Theatrical Society there really was nothing amateur about it. The acting and singing was spot on, the sets were simple but perfect, it was so well put together and we really enjoyed the show.
By the end of Footloose the whole audience were dancing in their seats and singing along. There was an encore which was a medley of all the big songs from the show – so many I had forgotten were even in Footloose and it was a fantastic end to a really great show.
I have to give a special mention to Rhianon Mone who played the leading lady, Ariel. She was fantastic – with a beautiful voice, an unfaltering American accent and played Ariel perfectly. There was nothing amateur about her at all and I’m sure she has a bright future on stage and screen ahead of her.
Footloose runs until 25th November at Haymarket with both evening and matinee performances. It’s a fantastic show and well worth the £23.50 ticket price. If you’re local, definitely go and see it. You can find more information here.
Disclosure: We were invited to the above show for the purpose of this post however all opinions are our own.