• Date:
    Monday, May 25, 1998
    Review by:
    Darren Dalglish

    The story concerns Sandy and Danny, two high school kids who fell in love during the holidays. However, when they go back to school Danny is embarrassed to find that Sandy now attends the same school. This presents problems for him as he is known as a bit of a womaniser and is looked up to by his mates. How can he now start being soppy with Sandy? Sandy, a goody goody, butter would not melt in her mouth sort of girl, gets involved with a bunch of 'hip' girls and needs to make lots of adjustments to fit in.

    This is the third time I have seen Grease and it is without doubt the worst performance!! The film of Grease in the 70s was one of my favourites and I have the original soundtrack, so I could be called a fan of Grease. However, this stage production has deteriorated in quality in the last few years. I first saw the show in 1994 and it was fresh, bright and was sung brilliantly. I did notice a slight drop in standards the second time I saw it in 1995, but this present production is simply awful! The show is in urgent need of a revamp or at least some serious re-casting to bring in some performers who will show some enthusiasm for what they are doing. In this performance the cast were lack lustre and I was particularly disappointed by the lead Ian Kelsey as 'Danny', who looked quite wooden and could not sing the songs at all competently. The same goes for Marissa Dunlop as 'Sandy'. To hear some of my favourite songs ravaged in this way was very soul destroying. I don't like to criticise actors unnecessarily, as I know they do a very hard job, but their performance this night was amateurish and unprofessional. The singing and dancing had no conviction and they reduced the show to the standard of a High School production and not the quality expected on a West End stage.

    Grease features many songs that were massive hits in the 70s, 'You're The One That I Want', 'Summer Nights', 'Sandy', Hopelessly Devoted To You' and more. What a pity they were sung so badly this night!

    Grease is looking very tired and I cannot possibly recommend the show until there has been at least a change of cast.


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