Readers of Ishiguro and Rowling alike will know…except this is the play following the film – it’s a tough gig! But the able cast and talented crew rise to the challenge in this feelgood performance of the best-loved musical Grease.
Imagine a world where Danny isn’t the heart-throb epitome of cool, hard-faced Rizzo has a soft side, and Sandy doesn’t figure all that much but instead cameos now and again to belt out a classic…doesn’t sound like it’d work does it? But the pitch perfect vocals, unfaltering stage smiles, impressive set and slick choreography give the audience what they came for.
I think its the GG-syndrome. That’s Generation Grease; having watched the movie until the tape got tangled (that’s right,we’re talking VHS era kids!), learning the score and the script off by heart, and, if i admit it, totally trying to recreate THAT last scene’s outfit out of geeky black leggings and my dad’s red tie, anything veering away from a complete reproduction of the Travolta-Newton-John phenomena is taking a step in the wrong direction for me.
So coming from this angle it was difficult to take on the amended script and varied score. But just as I caught myself frowning at the necessary stage-edits I was interrupted by the showstoppers and forced to smile from ear to ear. I found myself transfixed by the well-oiled formula of sparkly eyes, painted on grins, and just-so costumes, props, choreography and set. Numbers such as Greased Lightning, the finale-favourite We Go Together (despite the distinct lack of ferris wheels and flying cars), and standout duet Mooning, from loveable characters Jan and Roger (performed by Laura Wilson and Derek Andrews) had me clapping my hands, tapping my feet, and miming the words to a greater extent than I think my neighbours signed up for.
It was camp, creative and colourful, and everybody knows these are the vital components to the success of a musical. The testimony for me, was the great expanse of school kids waving their hands in time to the beat for such a duration that I wasn’t sure whether the excursion was on behalf of Drama, or PE.
After all, they’re the new generation of grease fanatics – I guess I need to hang up my dad’s red tie and get over my GG syndrome.
Whether you’re a die hard Movie fanatic or a first time viewer, this rendition of the 50s high school spectacular has something for everyone and is guaranteed to send you away with a smile on your face. The cast are in town for a limited time only, until the 8th October, so grab a ticket before it’s too late.