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Kick off your Sunday shoes at the Opera House

Gareth Gates in Footloose (Credit David Ellis)

Gareth Gates and Maureen Nolan will head the cast when Footloose: The Musical comes to the Blackpool Opera House this autumn as part of a major new UK Tour. Based on the 1984 screen sensation starring Kevin Bacon, it tells the story of city boy Ren, who moves to a rural backwater in America where dancing is banned. All hell breaks out as Ren rebels 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, tickets go on sale on Wednesday for this brand new production, bursting with youthful spirit, dazzling dance and electrifying music.

Blackpool’s own Maureen Nolan will play Vi Moore. As well as enjoying phenomenal success with her sisters in The Nolans, on stage Maureen has played Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers in the West End and on tour to critical acclaim. Other credits include Sadie in Girl’s Behind, Jill in Mum’s the Word and Sarah in The Naked Truth.

Gareth Gates will play Willard. Gareth rose to fame through the inaugural series of Pop Idol in 2001, going on to sell more than 5 million records worldwide and have hits across the globe. More recently Gareth has enjoyed a successful career on stage, with credits including Les Misérables, Legally Blonde and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Winter Gardens Managing Director Michael Williams said: “Footloose: The Musical is yet another great show heading to Blackpool Winter Gardens this year.“It is particularly pleasing that Maureen Nolan is in the cast as she is a well-respected star of musicals and of course, she is local. With Gareth Gates in the cast too this is set to be an amazing production.

“We look forward to welcoming Maureen and Gareth and all of the cast of Footloose: The Musical in the autumn.”

Luke Baker will play Ren McCormack, the role immortalised on screen by Kevin Bacon. Luke recently played 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, Thomas Cotran as Jeter and Scott Haining as Bickie.

Footloose: The Musical will run at Blackpool Opera House from Monday September 19 to Saturday 24.

Tickets go on sale at 10am Wednesday January 27 priced from £15. For more information go to www.wintergardensblackpool.com

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