I'M ONE of the people who remembers Footloose from the original film – though as I found out on Monday night, I don't remember it half as well as I thought I did.

Thanks to the traffic chaos currently engulfing Bristol because of the tram project, we were one of the last to hurl ourselves into our seats for Footloose the Musical, so at the end of the opening number we got our breaths back along with the frenetic cast. A tip to anyone visiting the Hippodrome this summer: add an extra half-hour to your travel time if you're driving.

Some members of the audience were a little upset by the announcement that co-star Maureen Nolan would not be appearing (sadly she was unwell) but I wasn't bothered, as to me she will be forever Mrs Johnstone from Blood Brothers. I was looking forward to seeing Gareth Gates - and wow what a change.

Again, in my memory he is the little teenager who won Pop Idol. Now he is a great big strapping lad, who can still sing up a storm and, like his character Willard, has learned some incredible dance moves.

Holding Out for a Hero was undoubtedly the standout song of the night for many of the audience and we all felt it would have been nice to see those itsy-witsy-gold-trimmed-shorts in the finale, but sadly it was not to be.

He and Ren really whooped it up in Let's Hear It For The Boy, which alternately had the audience in stitches at their comic timing and cheering on their dance moves.

This is a really high energy show, and the cast certainly put their all into it. Luke Baker, as Ren the outsider who changes a town forever, did a great job, matched by Hannah Price, amazingly making her professional stage debut in musical theatre as Ariel Moore.

She gave a convincing performance as the wannabe rebel preacher's daughter, who really loves her Dad and understands his pain too much to go too far, and showcased a fantastic voice to boot.

Joanna Sawyer's Southern drawl and rapidfire delivery as Rusty was just brilliant, and Matthew Tomlinson smouldered and sneered his way through life as badboy Chuck in great style.

Footloose is lots of fun and the plot is just serious enough to stop it becoming simply another retro hits show, even though the songs were originals when it was written.