Peter Andre achieves a lifelong dream with ‘Grease’ in the West End
Most people will associate Peter Andre with the 1990s hit, "Mysterious Girl." During his career, he's released 11 albums and competed in British reality TV shows, I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here and Strictly Come Dancing. Now Andre takes on his latest challenge — performing to thousands each night in Grease in the West End.
Peter Andre’s love for Grease goes back over 40 years. “I was five years old when Grease was released in 1978,” said Andre.
Even though he couldn’t watch it in the cinema, he remembers what quickly became the main topic of conversation upon the movie's release.
“Everyone was talking about an Australian girl being in it — Olivia Newton John — so I really wanted to see it. And then when I finally did, I saw it 10 or 12 times. The only other movie I’ve watched that many times was Back to the Future. Weirdly, they’re now both on stage by the same producer, Colin Ingram."
Speaking to Andre, he stressed his lifelong love of both the Grease film and the Grease musical. But when a chance encounter with the Grease film star came, he seized the opportunity with both hands.
"Years later, I ended up sharing the stage with Olivia Newton-John at an event, so it’s amazing how life goes in circles. Grease has meant something to me all my life!"
Now Grease means even more for the Australian star, as he makes his West End debut in the musical. In particular, he shines in Act Two, stunning the crowds in the “Born To Hand Jive” dance routine with an Elvis-inspired flare, and later pulling in laughs as the Teen Angel in “Beauty School Dropout.”
“It’s like you’re watching the film,” said Andre. “All the same songs are in there. We’ve added songs that were in the original script: for example, 'Mooning,' a song called 'Grease,' and another song called 'How Big I’m Gonna Be.' None of these are in the film but they’re great scenes in the theatre show, plus you get all the classics everyone knows. You really feel like you’re watching it. When you hear it all on the night, it’s all there. It’s brilliant.
Andre brings his nationwide-loved charm to the Dominion stage in his two roles. He oozes charisma and sex appeal in "Beauty School Dropout" and in the Grease megamix — because what is Grease without a megamix? — he rallies the audience into a singing and dancing-led standing ovation.
Being in the West End wasn’t always part of Andre’s career plan though. “It’s funny because when I was a kid, I studied acting, not singing. Then got signed up with a music career. I said to my dad that when I’m in my 40s, I wanna go into acting. He said 'good for you, go do your homework' and laughed it off.
And Andre is having the time of his life venturing onstage and onscreen for an actor.
"Now at 46, I did my first short film, The Inheritance, which got all these nominations. It went to all the festivals and I was nominated for Best Actor. I couldn’t believe it. I'm currently filming a feature film in between and I’m performing in the West End. If someone had said I’d be performing in Grease in the West End, I’d have said no way! It means so much."
Book Grease tickets on London Theatre.
Photo credit: Peter Andre (Photos courtesy of Manuel Harlan)
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