Venue: Royal & Derngate Theatre
Credits: Book, Music and Lyrics by JIM JACOBS and WARREN CASEY
Performance Date: 25/10/2016
Paul Johnson | 15 Nov 2016 11:27am
Since its first production in the 1970s ‘Grease’ has maintained its success.Performers and audiences alike are drawn to it and it seems to keep the feel good factor going, mainly, I feel, due to its latgely upbeat musical score.
The storyline is quite lightweight – during the summer vacation Danny Zuko and Sandy Dumbroski have met and romance blossoms but when the mild-mannered Sandy turns up at Rydell High her persona doesn’t seem to fit Danny’s – the brash leader of the gang – so the romance falters as do others of the other students with teenage angst flowing through the piece. The question is will there be a happy ending for all?
Rachel James caught the wistfulness and unsureness of Sandy’s character nicely while George Johnston’s debut as Danny showed much promise for the future. Susie Pack as Rizzo, leader of the Pink Ladies, was excellent – her delivery of both the faux coy ‘Look at me I’m Sandra Dee’ and ‘There are Worse Things I Can Do’, in my view could not be bettered. She was ably supported by Lotti Franks (Marty), Jan (Jay Snedker) and Frenchy (Hannah Taylor). Dan Hodson as Kenickie really commanded the stage with his electrifyin’ performance of ‘Grease Lightnin’’ with very lively input from the boy’s gang, Luke White (Doody), David Routledge (Roger) and James Bignell (Sonny) too.
Credit must go to the excellent orchestra under the direction of Graham Tear – there was a slight glitch in the first act but otherwise the musicianship was of a high standard. Costumes and sets were spot on and the lighting and backstage crew all worked really efficiently.
Finally a huge well done to the entire ensemble. The choreography was slick and precise and delivered throughout with great enthusiasm, along with the singing which was absolutely top class. All that work in rehearsals really paid off! The energy and vibrancy which went into numbers like ‘Grease is the Word’, ‘We go Together’ and ‘Born to Hand Jive’, contrasted well with the more reflective numbers although I felt that a boost to their mics was needed in a few of the solo numbers.
However , the whole show went down really well with the audience – they were swept along with the great feel good factor of the piece and I think all of them went home with (to quote from two older shows) a song in their hearts and rhythm in their feet!! Well done on a most enjoyable performance.
- : admin
- : 25/10/2016