Grease the Musical in London review: tell me more, tell me more...
Updated: Dec 29, 2022
Fancy a trip into London for a bit of a West End musical treat? Well, if you have Grease the Musical on your radar and want an honest review on how electrifying it was (or wasn't), then you're in the right place.
What's it about?
After a whirlwind summer romance, leather-clad greaser, hip thrusting Danny and girl-next-door Sandy are unexpectedly reunited when she transfers to Rydell High for senior year. The trials and tribulations of teenage life, however, do their best to get in the way of true love, '50's style.
What we liked
Okay, Peter Andre was fun playing the parts of Teen Angel and Vince Fontaine. Camp, witty and utterly charming: we loved him. Oh, and Jocasta Almgill as Rizzo was faultless: the true star of the show.
What we didn't like so much...
Honestly? It got off to a bad start when the audience were instructed at the beginning of the performance to refrain from singing along until the end medley. Say what now? No toe-tapping and belting out Hopelessly Devoted or Summer Nights? Straight up, we weren't allowed to sing along to Grease the Musical. That kinda made it a bit of a damp squib from the get go and, quite frankly, annoyed us.
This take - directed by Nikolai Foster - felt like an innovative young drama teacher had decided to take a classic, butcher it a bit and then put it back together out of sequence for a school production. Yes, the songs were there (mostly), but they were in the wrong places a lot of the time which left the audience confused. (We did a little survey while waiting in a queue for the toilets at the interval to see if it was just us feeling baffled by it all, and most queue buddies were indeed thinking the same as us). This was a show that had definitely ripped at the seams and even the choreography - directed by Arlene Philips - was neither systematic nor hydromatic enough.
We're not sure we can forgive the fact that the all important ending of Grease was moved from a carnival to a diner, nor that the chemistry between Sandy (Olivia Moore) and Danny (Dan Partridge) was more lifeless old banger than Greased Lightning. Both of these leads were outshone left, right and centre by the T-Birds and Pink Ladies throughout the show and simply didn't get enough individual stage time to make an impact. We just didn't care whether they got together or not.
In a nutshell
If you're a fan of the movie then there is a very, very good chance that this show is not The One That You Want (ooo ooo ooo, honey). Having said that, the younger members of our party, the ones who didn't grow up wanting to look like Olivia Newton John in those leather leggings, enjoyed it way more. They didn't have the expectations us older lot did, so were just bowled over by the fun, the energy and the razzamatazz. However, your kids (age 11ish an up we would say) will likely love it, and if you go without expecting it to be a carbon copy of the film, then you probably will too. We weren't Hopelessly Devoted, but you might just disagree.
All the deets
Where: Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7AQ
When: Now until 29 October 2022
Cost: From £24 per person. Not suitable for children age 7 years (although we would say given the adult humour it would be better suited for secondary school aged kids and up).
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