Grease is perhaps one of the most well known musicals of modern times, thanks mainly to the popular 1978 film starring John Trovolta and Olivia Newton John. Set in high school after a long summer, the show revolves around the ups and downs of young love, car mechanics and hand jiving.
The show is full of punchy dance numbers (Choreographed by Arlene Philips) and catchy songs, most of which you will likely be familiar with if you’ve watched the film or been present at any place where karaoke is happening. From the opening number, the cast brings you into the world where Grease is the word and it’s cool for friendship groups to get matching jackets. The acting is over the top and the accents at times a little shaky but it all plays into the strange fantasy world that is Rydell high.
The musical has some alterations and additions to the film, the T-Birds are The Burger Palace Boys, Sandy’s surname is Dumbrowski not Olson and ‘We go together’, ‘Sandra Dee’ and ‘Hopelessly Devoted to you’ all happen at very different points in the story. The additional songs of ‘Mooning’, ‘Freddy my love’ and ‘Those Magic Changes’ are all charming and will have you humming them for the week following. Although not featured songs in the film, they all do actually feature as background songs for various other scenes..
Georgia Louise powers through Sandy’s solos with a voice that far outstrips the songs she’s singing. Her Sandra Dee reprise left the audience cheering long into the intro to the next song. Marianna Neofitou makes a thoroughly endearing Frenchy whilst Josh Barnett (Roger) and Maeve Byrne (Jan) brought life to characters that so often play a backseat to others in the story.
Peter Andre was perfect as Vince and Teen Angel. I am normally very against pop singers taking on musical theatre roles as, from previous experiences, they don’t hold up well against the vocals of the rest of the cast. However, clad in leopard print and alarming fake tan, Peter Andre plays the radio host Vince Fontane with charisma and energy, whilst his Teen Angel shows off his legitimate singing talent.
Grease is two hours of campy, hand-jiving, nostalgic fun. With a lively and very talented cast, it will have you dancing on your feet during the final megamix and humming the tunes as you leave the theatre.