Grease at New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

blog post by Julie Wallis

It’s the one that Julie wants!

Stage experience  2016 presents Grease the musical and seeing it live last night was spectacular.  This performance  had me singing, laughing,  clapping, toe tapping and even jaw dropping.
For a group of young performers there is an abundance of real talent and I’m pretty sure that I saw a few future star’s last night.
Grease the musical, dress rehearsal at the New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham. Picture by Sam Bagnall
The story of Grease is so well known, but just in case you don’t know it’s a boy meets girl song and dance extravaganza  set in the 1950s. Danny and Sandy meet, fall in love, fight , dance and eventually  end up together.
With over 120 cast members this is a massive show, the lighting at the very start wiped the smile off my face as my jaw literally  dropped! (I later found out the lighting was used for Madonna and Beyonce tours so it really was some impressive  stuff)
Grease as presented by  Stage Experience  is loud, proud, extravagant and very professional.
Grease the musical, dress rehearsal at the New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham. Picture by Sam Bagnall
The quality of the singing was on par with some shows I have seen in the west end. Sandy as played by Georgia Anderson was perfectly cast, blonde, pretty and as well as being a beautiful singer she is a lovely dancer. Cha-Cha as played by Jessica Walton was an impressive  dancer, Sofi Robinson  played Rizzo and has a real ‘west end worthy’ voice. Jasmine Shen (Marty ) and Melissa Huband (Jan) also gave wonderful performances.The Pink ladies all packed a punch with their voices and they truly did justice to this well loved musical. As well as their great voices the whole cast were fabulous  dancers. I saw more high kicks and split leaps last night than I could count.
Mark Shaun Walsh played Teen Angel and had a super voice, definitely  the biggest of the men’s voices and every time he was on stage he radiated joy so I had to smile. For the rest of the T-Birds they gave great acting and dancing performance’s but as they are all still so very young they did not yet have the huge voices but it certainly took nothing away from their performance. The acting and dancing from all the young men was still brilliant.  Liam Huband as Eugene  played his character perfectly, just the right side of geeky without being silly at all. The T-Birds could dance every bit as well as the Pink Ladies and there were a number of split leaps from the young men that were just impressive.
This production does not disappoint, just because the cast are young they are not lacking in experience  or enthusiasm. This huge show was bursting with energy and I loved that the younger  cast members came dancing through the auditorium. I also fell a little bit in love with one young man, I’d say he was 10 years old at most, but every time he was on stage he  made that scene his own. Sadly I can not give a name credit but I can say well done young man.
Grease the musical, dress rehearsal at the New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham. Picture by Sam Bagnall
Don’t mistake this for an amateur production, as I said at the beginning these actors are young but genuinely  talented. I could see some of them being in Les Mis,  Miss Saigon  or Hairspray in the future and I wish each and every one of them all the best of luck.
Grease by Stage Experience  2016 was so much more than I first expected and I’m so glad I got a chance to be part of the audience,  I certainly  have no qualms about paying to see future Stage Experience  productions.
Once again the New Alex theatre hosted a wonderful night with a fabulous  after show party. Thank you, My complimentary  sliders, fish & chip (singular chip,but large) cupcake  and cider were all very welcome but in no way swayed this review.

Julie Wallis was invited to review Grease by New Alexandra Theatre and it seems that bribes don’t work!