Following a smash-hit 2016 tour which saw over 160,000 people cut loose across the UK, Footloose: The Musical is bursting back onto the stage this year with pop star Gareth Gates – and the dazzling show is coming to High Wycombe next month.

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.

Pop Idol star Gareth, who has sold more than five million records worldwide but recently turned his talents to the stage, is set to delight audiences in the role of Willard – a character he describes as “goofy”.

He said: “Willard [is the] character who can’t dance. To be honest, that suits me down to the ground.

“He’s a cowboy from Beaumont. It’s a really small town in the United States where everybody knows everybody’s business, and dancing is banned.

“Ren arrives in Beaumont and shakes everything up; he teaches Willard how to dance. Willard is a goofy character, and this is brand new for me.

“I am really enjoying playing someone completely different. I like to challenge myself.”

And fans of the film will not be disappointed with the show, which comes to the Wycombe Swan from May 8 to 13, according to Gareth – who says it is “true to the film” and features all the best-loved hits.

He said: “It is a great show with some really special moments. We do a mega mix of all the songs at the end and everyone is on their feet and having a good time, so it is a feel-good show.

“With this cast, everybody sings, acts, dances and plays instruments live too. I really have the greatest respect for this cast, they are a really talented bunch.”

The singing sensation, who says he was eight years-old when he first realised he could sing, already has a number of musical theatre credits under his belt – including Les Misérables, Legally Blonde and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat – but hopes to add more to his repertoire.

He said: “I’ve always been a fan of musical theatre – and I love being part of a production. It’s like a family – which is so totally different to being a solo star.”  

Footloose comes to the Wycombe Swan from May 8 to 13. Visit or call 01494 512 000 for tickets.