With a sensational ensemble and an orchestra to match, Grease makes for an electrifying night at the theatre.
Rebellious teenager Danny Zuko and sweet Sandy Dombrowski say goodbye as they head their separate ways after a secretive summer romance. Little do they know that Sandy has just enrolled at the same high school as Danny- but Danny has a reputation to uphold. The world famous musical follows their relationship as they deal with the peer pressures of Rydell High.
From the moment the cast burst onto the stage for ‘Grease is the Word’, the audience seemed utterly enthralled.
BBC One’s Over the Rainbow winner Danielle Hope shines as Sandy, as do the rest of the Pink Ladies, especially Lauren Atkins with her stellar performance as Marty.
The portrayal of the T-Birds is equally engaging, with the performers swaggering through the group’s goofy antics. The Wanted’s Tom Parker plays Danny Zuko and, while he has a pleasant voice, he lacks the smooth confidence that the character is renowned for. Nevertheless, Parker and Hope’s ‘You’re the One That I Want’ finale is sublime.
As a musical packed with such iconic numbers, any production of Grease could easily undervalue the lesser known songs but director David Gilmore ensures no stage time goes to waste. ‘Those Magic Changes’ is effortlessly executed by Ryan Heenan [Doody] and the extravagant staging makes the number a comedic highlight.
Costumes are at the heart of Grease and, even with a staggering 140 costume changes in the show, there is no doubt that designer Andreane Neofitou perfects them. From the array of vibrant swing dresses to the bold leather jackets, the costumes are a fitting tribute to the 1950s. The silver graduation gowns for ‘Beauty School Dropout’ are simply dreamy.
Thanks to former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips, the choreography throughout the show is phenomenal. The lighting and orchestra for the production almost makes the audience feel like they are at the Rydell High School dance themselves.
For a night of endless fun, jiving and humour, Grease the Musical truly is the word.
Photo [top] by Paul Coltas.