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Grease – Mayflower Theatre until 8th July then touring
Review by Caroline Hanks-Farmer
We all know and love the 1978 hit film Grease and for many years now it has been a stage show. I’ve seen this musical a good number of times and so I was interested to see how this touring production stood up to its predecessors.
A musical about teens in love in the 50’s! It’s California 1959 and greaser Danny Zuko (Tom Parker) and Australian Sandy Olsson (Danielle Hope) are in love. They spend time at the beach, and when they go back to school, what neither of them knows is that they both now attend Rydell High.
Full of energy, as soon as the cast burst onto the stage you can feel their electricity. I particularly enjoyed the well executed choreography (Arlene Phillips) which was in keeping with the era. Vocal talents were highlighted in great numbers such as Greased Lightnin’, Grease, Is The Word, We Go Together, Summer Nights, Beauty School Drop-Out, and of course You’re The One That I Want. The on-stage band were brilliant, encouraging the audience to join in which gave for a party atmosphere.
Both leads in Parker and Hope had chemistry. Parker had the right amount of angst to offset Hope’s sweetness. I always think Kenickie must be the fun role to play in the show. The chance to be rebellious and leading Greased Lightnin‘, Tom Senior well and truly does Kenickie justice. The ensemble really do deliver in this touring production. Unfortunately for me some of the characterisation didn’t quite hit my expectations or rather my previous experience and this disappointed me a little. However overall it didn’t detract from the fun and entertainment value of this show.
With his one number as Teen Angel the as ever charismatic Jimmy Osmond stole the show. The audience filled with women of a certain age (myself included) were thrilled to see him clearly loving being in Grease. Working the audience an obvious talent, his brief appearances delighted at every moment.
This show makes for a great evenings entertainment, with some nice performances and good choreography, it’s a huge amount of fun and reminds you of how much you enjoy the songs.