Grease is the Word

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UK and Ireland tour of GREASE, credit Manuel Harlan

Grease… A hugely successful, well known and loved story; about the whirlwind summer romance of leather-clad greaser Danny with girl-next-door Sandy and how after being unexpectedly reunited in high school they struggle to find true love once more.

Accompanied by a phenomenal score it surely can only lead to a hit musical.

This production of Grease The musical revises the original play script from 1970, prior to the hit 1978 film adaptation and differs to previous touring versions. The plot is similar enough to the films and includes all the hit songs for fans to appreciate.

 

The Musical follows a group of teenage girls and boys making it through high school and adolescence. Their trials and tribulations of life and love are showcased with a bright and cheery feel.

The songs are performed out of sequence to what the films lovers would expect. However where they are switched around and added to scenes as the plot unravels it adds more depth and familiarity to the characters in each scene. The show also has more empathises on the supporting characters stories as to just Danny and Sandy’s.

The young cast in this production do wonders, bringing it back with a fresh renewed vitality, full of passion enabling us to once again fall in love with these teenagers’ dramas all over again.

Dan Partridge portrays all the playful charisma of Danny Zuko most of us know and love to a tee, and Martha Kirby makes Sandy her own, giving this Sandy a little more sass and feistiness, that the modern teenager may emphasise with more.

All the supporting cast members deserve praise for embracing their characters and bringing them alive with outstanding zest and voices.

 

Arlene Phillips choreography lends to the scenes bursting out the stage with a modern feel, gelled with the hit songs, it makes this a musical for any age to appreciate. I went with my teenage daughter, who was not familiar with the film thoroughly enjoyed the production, after all it’s a story that every teenager and upwards can relate to at some point in their lives.

 

Now to say saving the best for last would not be fair on the cast, however Peter Andre was certainly a cheeky show stealer. Performing in a few select performances as Teen Angel, his part may have been small but his presence was anything but.

With the auditorium erupting in cheers and applauses as his winged character appeared in his one scene to give advice to Frenchy, as he sang ‘beauty school dropout’.

Bursting with energy and a cheeky smile, his teen angel oozes charm and is picture-perfect, you couldn’t ask for a better guardian.

Though as teen angel Andre only has one scene, he has a humorous tongue in cheek exit and re-joined the cast at the end of the show for a much loved and appreciated Grease hits medley.

Grease was at the Cliffs Pavilion, Southend but has now moved on. Currently at The Cliffs Pavilion this week is The Rocky Horror Show on until Saturday 3 August. www.southendtheatres.org.uk/Online

Tanya Mancini

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