Gareth Gates on Footloose

Posted on 2 June 2017

With less than two weeks to go until Footloose bursts on to the Belgrade’s Main Stage, we took a moment to speak to singing sensation and star of the show, Gareth Gates. Find out more about Gareth’s character in Footloose and get an insight into his latest venture involving coconut teas!

When did you first start to sing?

I was eight years old when I first realised I could sing. It was at my first school where they were putting on a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. I was fairly young so I can’t remember too much about it, but I remember it being liberating. Years later I was asked by Andrew Lloyd Webber to play Joseph in the West End and I jumped at the chance. It just hasn’t stopped since!

Did you know Footloose before joining this production?

I am a big fan of the film. It was released the year I was born in 1984 and I remember watching it quite a bit growing up. It’s a classic. I actively went after this job; the role really appealed to me. I’m playing the comedy role which is a type of character that I’ve never played before, and it’s great.

Tell us about the role you’re playing.

I’m playing Willard, who 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 Stated 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.

We hear you have to wear gold hotpants in one scene?

I’ve actually been driving to every city on tour so I can take my weights bench with me! If I’m going to be half naked on stage, I need to be pumped up!

What is your favourite musical?

That’s a really tough one. I absolutely loved the 25th Anniversary production of Les Miserables which toured a few years back. It was stunning. The cast were incredible and the venues just huge. I learnt my craft on that job, from the best. We even got to take the show to Paris, which was obviously incredible.

Your newest venture is a range of coconut teas. What has the reaction been to creating Cuppanut Tea?

During a period of enforced voice rest at home I came up with the idea. I can’t drink caffeine as I get migraines, so I created a drink I wanted to drink. I love coconut. The response has been amazing, from family and friends, to celebs I’ve asked to support me on social media – to the retailers, who have all been very keen. I’ve just done a deal with Holland and Barrett so you’ll be seeing it in their stores very soon!

Kick off your Sunday shoes and cut loose with us here at the Belgrade for this toe tapping feast between Tues 13 – Sat 17 June! Tickets are available now and priced from £27.50. Book now by calling the theatre’s friendly box office team on 024 7655 3055 or book online for even cheaper tickets at