INTERVIEW: Singer Gareth Gates turns to comedy in Footloose role

PUBLISHED: 10:08 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:08 20 April 2017

Gareth Gates

Gareth Gates


He’s coming to Bromley in July

Most people will remember Gareth Gates from Pop Idol, but since his 2003 success on the show, he’s made a name for himself in musical theatre.

And in July he’s coming to Bromley, alongside Maureen Nolan, in Footloose, as comedy cowboy - Willard.

The show follows the same plot as the 1980s rock ‘n’ roll hit film.

City boy Ren thinks life is bad enough when he’s forced to move to a rural backwater in America.

But his world comes to a standstill when he arrives at Bomont to find dancing and rock music are banned.

Taking matters into his own hands, soon Ren has all hell breaking loose and the whole town on its feet.

Gareth, whose musical theatre credits also include Les Miserables, Legally Blonde and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, says he feels comfortable in his role as Willard, because he can relate to him.

“Willard can’t dance, and he finds it really hard to speak to girls as he’s shy, which are definitely two aspects of life I can relate to,” he says.

“I’m really not a great dancer, but obviously working in musical theatre I have to try my best.

“Willard does have a big dance routine at the end of the show, and I love that bit. His character really develops throughout as he learns to dance and builds confidence.”

This is the performers first time playing a comic character though, but it’s a challenge he’s enjoying.

“I like to challenge myself when it comes to acting, which is what this role allows me to do.

“I usually play the prince or one of the more serious characters.”

It’s been non-stop for Gareth since Pop Idol, as he tells KoS: “I’ve actually been on the road and touring now for 15 years, which when you think ahout it is a very long time.

“It is crazy at times and I do also find it difficult sometimes but it also means I get to see the country, and meet some amazing people along the way.

“I wouldn’t trade it.”

He will be starring in Footloose alongside Maureen Nolan, who plays Vi Moore.

“Maureen’s great, she’s such a lovely woman. She’s a legend in her own right. It’s quite nice to be around the likes of her and the rest of the cast,” he said.

“All the actors also play instruments, we don’t have a separate band. They are just a very talented bunch. Working amongst people like that is incredible.”

Speaking of why people should come and see the show, Gareth said: “It’s just a really fantastic show, everyone has worked really hard to make the show come together, and we all work will on stage as a team.

“It is based on the 1984 film, which is a film that everyone loves. The stage adaptation definietly does the storyline justice, so if you loved the film, you’re sure to love this as well.

“I hope people leave feeling really upbeat and happy.”

The show is coming to Bromley’s Churchill Theatre from July 19-22.

For tickets or more information visit or call 020 3285 6000.

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