Grease – Bord Gais Energy Theatre – Review by Fran Winston
Grand Canal Quay, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2
Tuesday 1st – Saturday 12th August. 7.30pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. Friday 5.30pm and 8.30pm, Saturdays 5pm and 8.30pm
Tickets from €20
Photos by Paul Coltas
Long before Zac Efron charmed viewers as Troy in High School Musical there was Grease which gave a somewhat grittier take on high school life albeit in the 1950s. When being part of the right social clique was everything and never the twain would meet. Until bad boy Danny met nice girl Sandy and then all the rules went out the window.
I’m going to work on the assumption that everyone reading this already knows the basic story. Thanks to the 1978 film Danny and Sandy were immortalised forever and there are extremely few people in the western world who can’t quote at least a few lines and song lyrics from this enduring classic. But the movie was actually an adaptation of the stage show which actually ran for the first time in 1971 and is a somewhat different animal. There are additional songs, certain characters are fleshed out somewhat and some of the timeline is slightly different to what you might be used to from the film.
At its heart though it is the same tale with the same infectious energy. This is obviously due in large part to the cast who exude enthusiasm from the minute they step out on stage. Danny and Sandy are played by former boybander Tom Parker (The Wanted) and Over The Rainbow winner Danielle Hope. This is Parker’s first stage role and he seemed a little nervous in some scenes but on the whole he does a great job. Hope is a musical theatre pro at this stage since landing the role of Dorothy in the Wizard Of Oz after winning the aforementioned talent show and this experience shines through. Her somewhat nemesis Rizzo is played here by Louisa Lytton who people will recognise from her roles in EastEnders and The Bill or her turn on Strictly Come Dancing. She does a great job in the role but did seem to be having some vocal issues on the night I was there.
However, they all manage to be overshadowed by Jimmy Osmond as Teen Angel. He has only one scene but it has become an iconic moment in the touring shows and Jimmy knows it. He milked every note of Beauty School Dropout for all it was worth and even came back for more, and the audience loved it. Clearly Osmond-mania hasn’t subsided in some quarters and Jimmy revelled in it like the old pro that he is. He even took his second curtain call with the two leads such were the cheers for him from the audience.
The set is amazing, it looks more like a long established production rather than a show that will be packing up and moving on shortly. This crew don’t travel light! But it really adds to the feel of the show.
Overall this is just a joyous experience that will have you singing and dancing along for its duration. It’s a tried and tested formula and it works. No matter how many times you’ve seen the movie you will still find this fresh and it is a fabulous evening’s entertainment.