Nearing the end of a long UK tour, for one week only Grease takes you back to the summer of 1955 at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.
It's been at least ten years since I last saw the show, and with the film released in 1978 the story and the show has had a long time to become dated. This latest production, fresh the West End gives the show a new look and is busting with energy. Proving to be suitable for any age there was girl who must have been only 5 sat behind us singing along to every word.
Danny Zuko, the leader of the T Birds is played by Itv's Grease Is The Word winner Danny Bayne. Proving just why he was the winner, he is the perfect Danny, a great voice, slick moves, but a very cheesy Elvis laugh!
Making up the rest of the gang is Richard Vincent as Doody whose songs Those Magic Changes and Rock And Roll Party Queen are effortlessly some of the highlights of the show. David O'Reilly is charming as Roger and has a laugh like a Lion King hyena. There was a stand-out performance from Ross William Wild as Kenickie, his Greased Lightning was perhaps the strongest vocal performance packed with riffs and screams showcasing the strong rock singer that he is. Also, Darren John as Eugene is a perfect scene-stealer and had the audience's "awwwww's" and sympathy throughout.
The girls are led by Carina Gillespie as Sandy. Beautiful in every sense of the word, her performance was a delight and Hopelessly Devoted To You received rapturous applause. Kate Somerset How as Rizzo received equal applause for her rendition of There Are Worse Things I Could Do. Stand-out performances include Laura Wilson in her very cute portrayal of Jan and Emily Hawgood as Cha-Cha.
This production features the most lighting I've ever seen installed at the Grand, and the set by Terry Parsons is delightful and moves about the stage with ease and scene transitions are smooth.
Grease really does bring the magic of the West End to your hometown in a production that suffers no cut-backs and oozes energy. This production breathes new life into the old and well-known story. The ensemble are some of the most enthusiastic you will ever see and a ticket to Grease will definitely be worth the money you paid. The feel-good tour of 2012!
Ross William Wild (Kenickie)
Tickets for the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre can be booked here: http://grandtheatre.info/WhatsOn_focus.asp?ShowId=628&sC=page10
Grease Website: http://www.greasethemusical.co.uk