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The one that you want this Summer!

Grease - The Musical

Directed by Nikolai Foster

Review by David Bithell for A View To A Kiln and Radio Kiln

Audiences at the Regent Theatre, Hanley, have been transported to the 1950s with a rockin' performance of Grease — The Musical.

Director Nikolai Foster has successfully taken the much-loved musical back to its roots for the production, which is based on the original Broadway show script.

Dan Partridge (Danny) and Georgia Louise (Sandy)

Before the performance started, we were treated to a short film of local Stokie lyricist and poet, Nick Degg. He was seen visiting local points of interest, talking a poem about the last 18 months pandemic, telling the audience about what this moment in time means, and how we are now rising like a phoenix from the flames.

It left us particularly with a lump in our throats.

The video can be seen below.

It was great to “go out and play again” so to speak, at first it was felt with a little anticipation as this was our first proper indoor theatre experience and outing (may I add) since before the pandemic.

We were greeted by familiar friendly faces, Amanda and Georgia, who were clearly pleased to see actual public again, and it was certainly repaid as we were just as pleased to be back. Theatre Director, Frazer Hoyle, gave an awe-inspiring speech and then the show began with the classic prologue of Danny and Sandy ending their summer together on the beach.

Burger Palace Boys (T-Birds)

As the curtain rose, the sheer talent of the cast members was instantly apparent as the company launched into Grease Is The Word.

Dan Partridge and Georgia Louise were clearly matched superbly to their parts as Danny Zuko and Sandy Dumbrowki, not only in their looks and on-stage chemistry, but in their vocal talents also.

The first part of the show included a few songs which were not present in the film version, such as Freddy My Love, performed by Marty (Inez Budd) Jan (Maeve Byrne) Frenchy (Marianna Neofitou) and Rizzo (Tendai Rinomhota) and How Big I'm Gonna Be, sang by Danny.

Maeve Byrne (Jan) and Josh Barnett (Roger)

Dan Partridge (Danny) and Alishia-Marie Blake (Cha Cha)

Act 2 began, and we were greeted with Shakin’ At The High School Hop and Hand Jive performed by Jacob Young as Johnny Casino, and Jacob Fisher Vince Fontaine which roles are being shared with Peter Andre. It was during this scene you could appreciate the wonderful choreography of none other than Dame Arlene Phillips which showcased how the huge Regent Theatre stage can be used to create such an iconic moment of the film.

At the end of the play we were treated by the cast to the Grease megamix which allowed to the crowd to take it in turns to sing some of the classics from the film and play.

Overall, Victoria and I, enjoyed an evening of song, laughter and romance. It was a really enjoyable evening and after all the pre-show anxiety, The Regent had all corners covered with cleanliness and how the evening flowed.

Tendai Rinomhota (Betty Rizzo)

After each show we always chat on the way home about the play and favourite actors and parts. This one, Marty stood out for me, played by Inez Budd, who during Grease, was making her professional theatre debut. Victoria enjoyed Paul French’s take on Kenickie, who was also making his professional stage debut in Grease.

It was an evening to remember for all reasons, especially for how brilliant the show was.

Grease, the musical runs until Saturday 4th September 2021.

The Curtain Rises (again) - Nick Degg


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