Set at the fictional Rydell high school Grease is the much loved musical that follows the love story of Sandy and Danny Zuko as they fight against peer pressure to end up back in each others arms. Most people have seen the film and if they haven’t know at least one of the songs. This tour brings Grease to stages all around the UK and lets a whole new generation experience the wonders of Grease.
A large cast brings Grease to the stage with some famous names interspersed in between. Tom Parker from THE WANTED brings Danny to life with Over the Rainbow Winner Danielle Hope stealing the limelight as Sandy. Louise Lytton (exclusive interview below) from Eastenders broke away from her usual typecast character of girl next door to embody Rizzo, the sassy slightly bitchy leader of the Pink Ladies.
Originally performed in America in 1971 it made it’s transition over to London in 1973 and has enjoyed numerous revivals of critical acclaim. Grease has so many themes that audiences from all backgrounds can relate to that it is universally enjoyable. Having ten named primary characters it allows the musical to have more of a film feel and appeals to different members of the audiences with their interlacing but different storylines keeping people’s attention focused. The musical is slightly different to the film with some unique numbers and it is a shame that the iconic 1978 film with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John will forever mar any subsequent experience of Grease. It is impossible to watch any reincarnation of Grease without comparing the cast with the beloved actors and finding them falling a little short.
Tom Parker was too clean cut to provide an edgy cocky Danny – only during ‘You’re the One That I Want’ at the end of the musical did he really manage to get the audience wolfwhistling and howling for him. During this number he provided a glimmer of the swagger Danny needed and it was a shame the director hadn’t concentrated on bringing more of this out of Parker throughout the musical. Danielle Hope, as mentioned before, stole the show as Sandy with an absolutely incredible voice that silenced the whole theatre whenever she opened her mouth. Her part in the finale song was a little less effective than Sandy’s entrance in the film but this might not have been helped by her quick change and slightly disappointing costume that didn’t really highlight the extremity of Sandy’s makeover.
However, despite the slight disappointment of a muted Danny, this UK tour of Grease has a wonderfully enthusiastic young cast that brings a new lease of life to a popular classic on the musical scene. An energetic evening is promised to all and it will be enjoyed by all the family – whether it’s their first time or their fiftieth. Grease is a legacy that keeps on giving.