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THE HERALD FRIDAY AUGUST 19 2016


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Everybody gets loose at ‘EVERYBODY cut loose’ is


the phrase everybody is familiar with, especially this summer as the explosive Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘Footloose the Musical’ pays a visit to Aberystwyth as part of its UK tour, echoing the feel good classic that many would have seen on the big screen. A crowded room is a positive sign


for any production but when it is a highly anticipated performance, there is most definitely more excitement in the air. That is exactly what the atmosphere was like in the Aberystwyth Arts Centre theatre as the audience, of all ages, sat and waited in anticipation for the show to start. Once the lights dimmed and the music began, it was time for the feet tapping. Four-time Tony Award nominee


‘Footloose the Musical’ made itself at home on the Aberystwyth Arts Centre stage from Wednesday, August 10 until Saturday, August 27, and has received an outstanding response while on tour around the UK. Lasting 2 hours 30 minutes, with a 20 minute interval break, this musical production is suitable to satisfy people of all ages, especially fans of the original 1984 film. For those unfamiliar with the


famous film, ‘Footloose’ tells the story of Chicago boy Ren McCormack who moves with his mother to the rural Bomont in West Virginia where dancing is banned. As he struggles to fit in, he befriends Willard Hewitt and takers a shine to the Reverend’s daughter, Ariel. All hell breaks out as Ren starts to


protest against the dancing ban but soon has the whole town up on its feet. ‘Footloose the Musical’ is produced


by David Hutchinson and Phillip Rowntree for Sell A Door Theatre Company and Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment. It is also presented by arrangement with


Rhian Boyt


Ceredigion Reporter rhian.boyt@herald.email


R&H Theatricals Europe. The Director and the rest of the


show’s crew at Sell a Door completely replicated the classic film onto the stage with such professionalism and entertainment. A very fast-paced show which not only had a fantastic quality to the set, but also packed in all of the classic 80s hits, including ‘Holding Out for a Hero’, ‘Let’s Hear it for the Boy’, ‘Almost Paradise’ and the unforgettable title track, ‘Footloose’. Not to mention a tremendously


talented cast who show passion in each of their performances and completely dominate the stage in their own ways. By getting the audience up on their feet by the end of the show, it is very clear that all of their hard work is paying off as the tour continues. The show stars Maureen Nolan


(Vi Moore/Principal Clarke), Gareth Gates/Lee Brennan (Willard), Luke Baker (Ren McCormack), Hannah Price (Ariel Moore), Miracle Chance (Urleen), Natasha Brown (Wendy- Jo), Joanna Sawyer (Rusty), Nigel Lister (Reverend Shaw Moore), Nicky Swift (Ethel McCormack), Matthew Tomlinson (Chuck), Alex Marshall (Wes Warnicker), Thomas Cotran (Jeter), Scott Haining (Bickle/ Cowboy Bob), Natalie Morton-Graham (Eleanor/Onstage Swing), Lauren Storer (Cowgirl/Onstage Swing) and Luke Thornton (Gavin/Onstage Swing). Sell A Door Theatre Company


began its life as a small team with big ideas. Established in 2009 with an aim to deliver dynamic, diverse and daring theatre, Sell A Door has produced an impressive portfolio of work principally aimed at engaging young adult audiences.


In its seven year history, Sell A


Door has developed rapidly, and has firmly established itself as a leading producer of mid and large-scale touring theatre. Having produced in excess of 50 productions, the company has become an integral part of the regional theatre landscape in the UK and Ireland. Through new collaborations,


lasting partnerships and successful grant applications, Sell A Door has quickly made an impact amongst the industry and its audiences alike. The audience experience has always been at the heart of the company’s work and artistic planning. Sell A Door prides itself on an


acute awareness of the challenges and obstacles that prevent young people from engaging in theatre. From the very


outset, the company’s aim has been to makes its work accessible to all, and encourage the next generation of theatre goers. Following successful UK tours of ‘Dracula’ (2010), ‘A Taste of Honey’ (2011) ‘Spring Awakening’ (2012) and ‘Lord of the Flies’ (2012), Sell A Door went on to produce the first West End production of ‘Seussical’, as well as a host of popular regional tours. In 2013 alone, the company visited


over 60 venues, attracting over 25,000 patrons – a figure which quadrupled in 2014, a year which saw the company go from strength to strength, with the UK tour of Kidnapped and UK and Ireland tour of ‘Avenue Q’. Large-scale commercial touring


is now regularly complementing the company’s not-for-profit roots, creating a varied and distinctive programming structure. The close of 2014 marked Sell


A Door’s international debut, with both Avenue Q and Seussical landing in Hong Kong for a pre-Christmas run, while 2015 launched touring productions of a newly commissioned adaptation of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, Alan Bennett’s ‘The History Boys’, and the return of Avenue Q. Sell A Door have gone from


strength to strength in 2016. Current UK tours include Footloose, Avenue Q in its third successful year, ‘American Idiot’, which will be returning to the Arts Theatre this summer, and ‘James and The Giant Peach’, currently on a world tour. Later this year, ‘The Broons’ and the much anticipated ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ will be touring Scotland and the UK respectively. The Herald interviewed Naomi


Symeou, one of the leading producers of ‘Footloose the Musical’, to talk about how the outstanding production was created and what it was like work with the wonderful cast.


What are your experiences with working at Sell a Door?


“I’ve been here for about three


years now. I started part-time when the company had just the two owners. I started to help out with some marketing and education and when the company started to grow, I took on casting and events and then became General Manager about seven or eight months into working for them. I have been a Producer for the last year so I work across all shows, putting them together.”


With regards to the creation


of Footloose, three famous names were casted for the show. How has this increased the marketing of the production and how did they come to be casted?


“With Gareth Gates, he was


recommended to us by somebody else who had worked with him in the past and we thought he was great for the show. Originally, we weren’t sure what role to put him up for but he was really keen on the Willard role. He really wanted to play a comedic role, something that was a bit different, and when we auditioned him, he was absolutely fantastic. “Despite his problems with his


speech, he learned the script he spoke absolutely fluently. You could see in the audition room how much work he had put into preparing for the audition and the role of Willard. Anybody who sees the show says he’s an absolute star and hilarious in the role. “I met Maureen very briefly when I


had gone with another Producer to see the production of ‘Blood Brothers’ that she was in and I met her afterwards. She mentioned that she was going to be free the following year and said she had


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