Get ready to cut loose with MLOC this week with the opening of their production of Footloose at the Shirley Burke Theatre in Parkdale. We kicked off our Sunday shoes with Mitchell Hurrey, who plays Ren McCormack, to chat about the show ahead of opening night.
Hurrey explains the show, based on the 1984 hit movie starring Kevin Bacon, in his own words.
“Ren’s world is turned upside down when his dad walks out forcing he and his mum, Ethel, to move to the small country town of Beaumont. Ren finds it hard to fit in as he always finds himself in some sort of trouble whether it is at school or in his aunt and uncle’s house” he explains.
“In Beaumont dancing is against the law, and Ren believes they need a change. He takes on the challenge of changing the law and throwing a dance for the kids of the town to help them unwind from their boring life. With the help of his best friend Willard and the Reverend’s daughter, Ariel, he has to find a way to convince them that dancing is not a danger to the community”.
“I am able to relate to Ren as he is a young guy with a big heart just trying to make sense of this new world. Having recently just finished school and finally entering “the real world” I understand his frustrations of being in a completely new life where everything has changed and he is forced to start fresh from what he has always known for the past 16 years” Hurrey said.
It’s a dance heavy show but the rehearsal process has been fun.
“The dancing really makes the whole show fun! We have an amazing cast that makes every single number look flawless even throughout the rehearsal period. The dances compliment each number and really highlight the caliber of talent that I have had the opportunity to perform this show with” he said.
“Having such a short rehearsal period has made it all the more fun. It gives the whole cast the motivation and drive to push themselves for a great show and has allowed us all to keep the high energy that this show needs”.
“When you are able to make people express their emotions and have an honest laugh or well up during an emotional number, you have given them their money’s worth and I feel that this show and it’s amazing cast are able to that. None of which would have been possible without the guidance of our amazing production team who worked tirelessly to bring you the best show possible” he said.
He doesn’t have one single, specific favourite moment from rehearsals or putting this show together.
“The bonds that have been created with this whole cast are all I could ask for. Each and every person who has worked on this show is caring and sincere and once you get to know everyone it is obvious why this show and it’s cast work so well on stage. The memories created have given me moments to cherish, and I truly hope that I am able to work with at least some of this amazing cast again in the future” he said.
Footloose is a musical filled with love, heart, and open youthful energy, a story about dancing, but it’s also about a family and a town that is grieving a great loss. It’s a story about how fear and grief can cause us to control the things around us, when what we really need is to let go.
For seven shows only at the Shirley Burke Theatre, cut loose and have a boogie with MLOC. Tickets available online www.mloc.org.au/footloose