FringeReview UK 2017
“He’s the one that you WANT!! Tom Parker, from the UK’s top boy band THE WANTED, is to star in his first ever theatrical role as ‘bad boy’ Danny in GREASE, the No.1 greatest musical! Also starring Over The Rainbow winner Danielle Hope as Sandy, and EastEnders’ and Strictly Come Dancing’s Louisa Lytton as Rizzo, this original, electrifying West End production lights up the UK in 2017! It’s the original high-school musical, featuring all the unforgettable songs from the hit movie including You’re The One That I Want, Grease Is The Word, Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted To You, Sandy, Greased Lightnin’ and many more.”
Part of the UK Tour, Grease comes to Brighton with plenty of history behind it. This reviewer saw it first when he was a child and its appeal is as strong as it ever was. We took our thirteen year-old who loved the music, the dancing and the simple story that never ceases to delight audiences who single along and are even happy to dance in the aisles. On this occasion some raucous audience members let go a little too much but there’s no doubting their love for this iconic show. A story set in the sixties in an American high school, a story of love, a story of growing up.
Don’t expect a clone of the film, but there’s enough common ground between film and stage versions to please you if you’ve only seen the film. What works here so effectively is that Grease works well in its own right as a piece of musical theatre. The cast are superb, there’s complexity in the way numbers are delivered with mico-stories happening in the background and you could see this twice and notice a lot you missed the first time in terms of visual interaction between cast members – there’s comedy a plenty in the choreography. All of the signature numbers are delivered with heart and skill and there were whoops of delight (and singalong) from audience members. If you haven’t seen this you will need to see past what is currently going on in the world in terms of the sexual values of today. This is a piece of history, showing us a time gone by, a time many look back to with fond nostalgia.
I felt that the build up to the payoff at the end, the transformation of Sandy, was a bit quick and needs a gentler timing. It was all a bit too sudden and that dampened the dramatic power a little.
Yet this is a musical packed with fun, remembering a time gone by through a story and music that still lights up audiences today.
The music, so superbly delivered by a band that know what they are about, tis a huge virtue of the show, the set serves the show, evoking the period and the setting well, and the cast, well they can sing, dance and act and that combination is part of the winning formula – all the ingredients of a show that had its deserved standing ovation at the end. Highly recommended and a perfect bit of escape from the Christmas rush of Brighton and the sofa at home.