A SONG and dance show that has over 20 named characters, a chorus line-up of around 30 young people and up to 20 musical numbers is a lot to take in but the loyal fans of WOW’s Youth Theatre group gave it their full support as they always do.

Footloose is an unsophisticated bubblegum show set in the backwoods of America in which the resident teenagers stage a revolt against a ban on dancing and in doing so create a production that has a strong appeal for the younger generation with its big sounds and bright and breezy dance routines.

A fine cast bring the lightweight story to life with Luke Southorn and Molly Thorne convincingly providing the love interest while an amazing Harry Lake is full of stern morality as the town’s church minister who hides his own secret sorrow.

With scene changes by the dozen and a constant set of song and dance routines, there is never a moment to spare for the large cast who bring enthusiasm and a great deal of talent to the stage under the inspired direction of Martine Burt whose award-winning choreography steals the show as usual.

A seven piece professional orchestra under the direction of Heather Reed brilliantly perform the very demanding score, most of the songs of which are probably unknown to anyone over the age of 21 except I’m Holding out for a Hero and Almost Paradise.

The young actors nicely handle their American accents and also manage to inject some comedy routines into the action, particularly Samuel Bates as a hapless cowboy who is trying to learn how to dance. It is impossible to name the entire cast but everyone on stage put their energy and considerable talents to work as they succeed in creating an enjoyable experience both for themselves and for their audiences.

The production continues for the rest of the week with a Saturday matinee and the school-age members of WOW are certain to play to full houses at every performance.