Luke Sayers talks about his first lead role with BATS

It’s the film that gave Kevin Bacon one of the most iconic roles of the ‘80’s.

Footloose follows teenage rebel Ren McCormack, who fights to bring rock music and
dancing back to the small town that’s banned them.

 Luke Sayers - Palying Ren McCormack

Luke Sayers - Palying Ren McCormack

Now Footloose – the Musical is heading to the Haymarket in Basingstoke for the first time ever - and the performer inheriting Kevin Bacon’s attitude, dance moves and white vest/jeans combo is 19-year- old Luke Sayers from Oakley. But he’s got a confession.

“I never saw the whole film before auditioning! I think I watched maybe half of it before, but I didn’t really know it at all. I was persuaded to audition and I thought, “Oh well, I’ve got nothing to lose” – and here I am playing my first lead role for BATS!”

Since being cast Luke’s had to get up to speed fast!

“Ren is a troubled young man. His dad walked out so his mum has moved them from Chicago to this town in the middle of nowhere. He hates it as there’s no excitement and dancing is a crime! But he’s got a lot of passion, he’s very driven, and that causes conflict – especially with the priest who sees him as a big threat.”

With blistering dance routines, big songs and intense dramatic scenes, the energy on stage
doesn’t let up. But Luke says he’s prepared.

“I’ve been dancing ever since I joined the Basingstoke Tappers aged 4! I went on to other
local dance schools, before studying performing arts at Queen Mary’s College. I’ve just
started a foundation course at Kingsclere Performing Arts College, so at the moment my life
revolves around singing, dancing and acting!”

Luke says fans of Footloose the film won’t be disappointed. “I’m really excited to see the
audience reaction when we perform songs like Holding Out for A Hero, Let’s Hear It For The
Boy and Footloose of course. I hope they’ll be up and dancing!”

 Luke Sayers in full swing during a rehearsal

Luke Sayers in full swing during a rehearsal

Sounds like the perfect feelgood night out? “It is! The whole company are working really
hard to make this a great show. We’re loving it – and I know audiences will too!”

Footloose is at the Haymarket, Basingstoke from Wednesday 15th-Saturday 25th
November. Performances at 7.30pm with extra 2.30pm shows on Saturday 18th & 25th.


Tickets: £18.50-£23.50 (adults) £15 (16s and under) - with concessions for students, over-
65s and groups. All prices include a booking fee.

Buy tickets: www.anvilarts.org.uk Call 01256 844244 or visit the Anvil Arts box office.

BATS brings Footloose to Basingstoke

Everybody cut loose and kick off your Sunday shoes – as the sizzling rock ‘n' roll musical Footloose explodes onto the Haymarket stage for the first time ever!

Based on the 1984 film starring Kevin Bacon, Footloose features classic hits including Holding Out for a Hero, Let's Hear It For The Boy, Almost Paradise and the unforgettable title track, Footloose.

 BATS are staging Footloose in November

BATS are staging Footloose in November

The story: Moving from Chicago to a small Midwestern town, teenager Ren McCormack is
in shock when he discovers dancing and rock music are illegal there. As he struggles to fit in,
Ren faces an uphill battle to loosen up this conservative town. He wins the help of new
friend Willard and defiant teen Ariel. But Ariel's influential father, Reverend Moore, stands
in his way…
Footloose features an incredible cast of local talent, including 19-year- old Luke Sayers in his
first lead role for BATS as Ren. Rhianon Mone plays Ariel, Liam Brelsforth plays Willard and
Reverend Moore is played by Stephen Westwood with Sally Manning as his wife Vi.
With a live rock ‘n’ roll band, exuberant dance routines and the fervour of teen rebellion, Footloose will certainly bring the feelgood factor to the Haymarket this November.

Footloose is directed and choreographed by Martyn Knight (whose previous BATS shows
include The Full Monty and Sister Act) and the musical director is Julie Dance (Grease, The
Full Monty).

Footloose is at the Haymarket, Basingstoke from Wednesday 15th-Saturday 25th
November. Performances at 7.30pm with extra 2.30pm shows on Saturday 18th & 25th.

Tickets: £18.50-£23.50 (adults) £15 (16s and under) - with concessions for students, over-
65s and groups. All prices include a booking fee.

Buy tickets: www.anvilarts.org.uk Call 01256 844244 or visit the Anvil Arts box office.

Come and Join Us for Footloose!

BATS' next show will be Footloose. Come and join us for this exciting Rock 'n' Roll musical, filled with great songs and lots of dancing.

Based on the 1984 film starring Kevin Bacon, Footloose features classic hits including Holding Out for a Hero, Let's Hear It For The Boy, Almost Paradise and the unforgettable title track, Footloose.

 BATS are staging Footloose in November

BATS are staging Footloose in November

The pre-audition workshops start this week and these are your chance to come along and meet us, find out about the show, the music, the roles available and other important information such as rehearsal dates.

A link to the audition materials, including male and female audition pieces, can be found here on our Google Drive.

You will to be a member of BATS in order to audition. See our Join BATS page for more information.

Pre-audition workshops will be held on 31st May, 5th, 7th and 12th June at 19.30 at Christ Church, Reading Road, Chineham, RG24 8LT.

Auditions are on 13th and 14th June from 19.00 at Market Chambers Performers Together, Church Street, Basingstoke, RG21 7QE.

We look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday. Come along and bring your dancing shoes!

Spamalot Review, Newbury Weekly News, May 2017

Laughsalot a BATS’ Spamalot

This was the first time that I had seen the musical Spamalot and I was unsure how the typical Monty Python madness would transfer to the stage in such a way. I have enjoyed their Holy Grail film many times and was looking forward to Eric Idle's offering with book and lyrics. 

I was not disappointed.  Director and choreographer Gary J. Myers did a splendid job with a talented cast, capturing the Pythons' unique blend of humour and mixing it well in the well-choreographed musical numbers. 

 Colin Flaherty as King Arthur and Pete Chandler as the (almost armless!) Black Knight

Colin Flaherty as King Arthur and Pete Chandler as the (almost armless!) Black Knight

This slick and well-rehearsed musical was complemented by the hard-working MD. Neil Streeter, and his band, who at times probably felt like they were playing until their arms dropped off - although, in fact, it is only the Black Knight who loses his arms in the show. 

There is everything you can imagine in this musical and I am sure that Eric Idle will be very proud to have thrown in every possible cliché, pun, and slick argumentative dialogue between ridiculous characters as humanly possible.  It would be easier to mention what wasn't in the show than to list what is. Nonetheless, we had the delightful and infuriating French taunter Ed Branch and a wonderfully funny I Am Not Dead Yet, led by Stuart Baker as Dead Fred. 

 Stuart Baker as Dead Fred

Stuart Baker as Dead Fred

 Edward Branch as the French Taunter

Edward Branch as the French Taunter

 Nick Brannam (centre) as Prince Herbert with Peter Chandler as Sir Lancelot

Nick Brannam (centre) as Prince Herbert with Peter Chandler as Sir Lancelot

 Kirsty Kingham as Lady of the Lake

Kirsty Kingham as Lady of the Lake

The chemistry between a gay Prince Herbert, Nick Brannam, and his strict, brazenly, old-fashioned Yorkshire father; David Izzo, was fantastic.  This, too, was seen between a straight-played King Arthur; Colin Flaherty, and his poor worthless sidekick (or horse) Patsy - Richard Bond - working well in I'm All Alone.  But special mention goes to Kirsty Kingham, playing The Lady of the Lake, an absolute fantastic performance, showing off both comedy and a brilliant singing voice in The Diva's Lament

The show was gifted with energy and vibrancy and was great entertainment, whether a Python fan or not. For those of us who are, we had a great fix of Fish Slapping, Spam and always looking on the bright side of life. 

Well done.

Daniel Maskell

Spamalot Review, May 2017 - NODA

Monty Python’s Spamalot is described as “A new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail from the original screenplay by: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gillian, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin – and that’s exactly what it is.   It’s a highly irreverent version of Camelot and sticks – very loosely – to the Arthurian legend.  It’s pointless, puerile, spoofy and silly but also enormously funny and has happiness coursing through every scene. It's xenophobic, homophobic and blasphemous but good-natured and a huge amount of fun and I loved it. 

 Colin Flaherty as King Arthur and Richard Bond as Patsy

Colin Flaherty as King Arthur and Richard Bond as Patsy

The set: village scenes, castle etc were effectively created of high quality and cleverly designed.  There was minimal disruption during the scene changes.  Great and convincing use of props, especially the wooden bunny. 

The costumes were excellent: bright, bold and larger than life with great attention to detail and were in keeping with the characters and story.

The lighting was very effective. The sound was excellent with voices clear and blended well with the live music.  All the songs were sung enthusiastically. Lady of the Lake, Kirsty Kingham was simply stunning as she belted out her numbers including (one of my favourites) “The Diva’s Lament” and “The Song That Goes Like This” (with David Izzo, Sir Galahad).

  The Song That Goes Like This  with David Izzo and Kirsty Kingham

The Song That Goes Like This with David Izzo and Kirsty Kingham

 Ed Branch as the French Taunter

Ed Branch as the French Taunter

Director, Gary J Myers, demonstrated his talent as he drew great performances from this large and versatile cast.  The music, led by Neil Streeter, created a solid sound giving the performers superb lead.  The show worked well due to the chemistry and strong performances not least by Colin Flaherty (as King Arthur) and his Knights of the Round Table. Richard Bond as Patsy (King Arthur’s side-kick) provided great support complete with horse clopping sound effects from a pair of coconut halves. There was lots of spectacle and hilarity from the French Taunters (Ed Branch on top form) to the routines and songs taking the mickey out of other musicals (I spotted quite a few including 42nd Street and Chicago). The principals had a terrific ensemble around them.  I enjoyed the variety and changes of style and atmosphere. The comedy was fast paced and very off the wall but clever and everyone had a chance to shine. BATS audiences expect high production values and they were not disappointed. Congratulations to the production team, led by Colin Webb, whose hard work, in this instance, led to a polished show that was full of memorable and hilarious moments.

Chris Horton

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