Review: Grease

Most people know Grease as the hit movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, but long before it was a hit on the big screen it already had a major following as a stage musical.

Grease is a story of teenage love, angst and growing up in America in the late 1950s. The attraction of a boy and a girl from different backgrounds, the leather-clad Danny (Marley Fenton) and sweet girl-next-door Sandy (Hope Dawe) who have a whirlwind summer romance and then go back to Rydell High School for the new term. 

Sandy is the new girl in the class and is surprised and at first delighted to discover that summertime love Danny is also there. But quickly realises that Danny doesn’t seem as pleased as the Miss Prim and Proper image of Sandy doesn’t go with his tough boy image.

Can they survive the trials and tribulations of senior year and find love once more?

As Hope Dawe belts out the solo number, Hopelessly Devoted to You, with such power, it is hard to believe that this fine young actress is in her first professional debut role. She’s definitely set to have a great future in musical theatre for years to come.

Another stand out number is Greased Lightning a combination of song and dance using to great effect an American car that filled the Ipswich Regent stage. Of particular mention is George Michaelides in the role of Kenickie. His dance moves had me mesmerised as he practically floated around the stage effortlessly, jumping on and off the car.

If you are expecting to see a copy of the movie, then think again, as the stage show is different, perhaps grittier than the sugary sweet big screen version. Plus you’ll get more songs for your dollar as the movie version cut out several numbers that feature in the stage production.

It was a packed house on the opening night and the cast were all on top form and the resounding applause from the audience proved that Grease can still wow the audiences who just love it.

Playing at The Ipswich Regent until Saturday 25th May and then continues on national tour –

Review: Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine