Grease at The Churchill Theatre
The nostalgic and much loved musical ‘Grease’, touring the UK, visits the ChurchIll theatre, Bromley.
Sweet girl next door, Sandy and the super cool dude, Danny share an unexpected yet intense holiday romance, heart broken to be parted. Fate plays an unexpectedly part as they are reunited in the final terms of Ryder High. But can the teenagers endure the inevitable perils and divide of school life to once again save and defend their unequivocal love?
The original stage musical explored and reflected a much darker, raw tone, tackling class, social issues delinquency, sex and violence. Therefore, any revival version is not an easy task to produce on stage due to the iconic hit musical film adaptation of 1978.
This particular stage adaptation tries hard to incorporate both aspects to appease but fell short at times, leaving us a little confused with the flow of the storyline as they have very little in common. One of the highest grossing much loved musical versions may have caused the audience to have higher expectations replicated on stage.
It would seem that no expense had been spared on the set design for Grease which was spectacular and really added to a feel good show. The energetic dancing and enthusiasm of the young cast was undeniable, at times a little over zealous, however, they pulled off a very entertaining show.
Darren Bennett playing Vince Fontaine deserves a particular mention. He was truly outstanding, demonstrating great talent and with out doubt great experience. His comic timing was first to none and stole your eye even during other scenes staying very much in character.
Most of the leads delivered assured performances with Dan Partridge in the role of Danny Zuko being the ultimate triple threat; singing, dancing and acting, and Louis Gaunt in the role of Kenickie demonstrating incredible dance moves, boy he certainly has some energy. A particular favourite and one who caught your eye, Jonathan Hermosillo-Lopez aka ‘Mooney’, again great comic timing and and truly impressive vocals.
The choreography was spectacular with particularly brilliant performances from all the ‘Burger Boys’ in the group boys numbers, maintaining their characters throughout.
An entertaining mix of singing, dancing, and comedy, with dynamics of the ensemble numbers held together by its phenomenal band and score. Bursting with hits including Summer Nights, Greased Lightnin’, Hopelessly Devoted to You and You’re the One That I Want as well not so well know songs from the original show.
A very special cameo appearance from guest artist Peter Andre as Teen Angel almost brought the show to a standstill with the audience going wild when he appeared on stage. Genius casting which guaranteed a ‘full house’.
The mega-mix at the end of the show was a great idea as it allowed the audience to get to their feet to dance and singing along, thus, cleverly ending with a standing ovation! As an avid Musial theatre goer and at times, harsh critic, this show definitely had strengths and some weaknesses but from the Bromley audience’s reaction I do think it went down well and lots enjoyed it.
Review by Lesley Howe
Grease is at the Churchill Theatre until Saturday 12th October and then at theatres across the country. Visit their website to find out where else they are visiting.