by Julie Wallis twitter.com/Nicenic63
Grease at Birmingham Hippodrome
Grease is at Birmingham Hippodrome all this week and it is as fun as ever.
Starring Tom Parker from The Wanted as Danny and Danielle Hope as Sandy this teenage based love story is a classic musical full of fabulous sing-along tunes, I defy anyone to watch this without joining in the singing.
Unbelievably Grease has been appearing on stage for over 40 years but this production still has all the vitality and freshness of a brand new show.
I’m pretty sure I don’t need to give anyone a synopsis of the story, but for professionalism I shall say: Danny and Sandy are summertime sweethearts and meet again when Sandy starts at Rydell high school where Danny is one of the T birds and in his feeble attempt to remain ‘cool’ he dismisses Sandy as just his Summer love, of course they do end up back together, but with a few adventures along the way.
Grease seems to feature in everyone’s top musicals, so stepping into the role of Danny for Tom Parker must be a thrill. Obviously Tom Parker has a fabulous singing voice and I do believe this is his first time acting, he does a grand job as Danny. Danielle Hope is a terrific Sandy and belts out her songs including Hopelessly Devoted To You with a voice that seems out of proportion for such a sweet little girl and I love it.
Louisa Lytton is Rizzo, the misunderstood ‘bad girl’ of Rydell high and alongside Gabriella Williams as Patty, the eternally upbeat and cheerful cheerleader and Rhiannon Chesterman as Frenchie the beauty school dropout these girls light up the stage. But the star of the night for me was Jimmy Osmond as Teen Angel who came on to huge applause. Being the youngest of the Osmond dynasty he is not resting on his laurels, he still has a wonderful singing voice and amazing stage presence. The only shame is, he is not on stage for very long but he certainly provoked a huge reaction from the audience.
With breathtaking choreography by Arlene Phillips, and I do mean breathtaking, as I literally gasped when I saw a straddle split leap! The lighting is, as it always is at the Hippodrome, perfect, and when the stage lights fade on the somewhat tatty car that Kenickie (Tom Senior) has newly acquired to rise moments later on a shining Greased Lightnin’ , well that sums up the magic of theatre.
Grease is everything musical theatre should be for me. It’s fun, it’s fantasy, it’s colourful and it’s packed with great show tunes. Last night I took my 12 year old granddaughter as my guest and I really couldn’t have found a more perfect first musical theatre experience for her. This is the perfect family show, I could say There Are Worse Things I Could Do, but instead I will say You’re The One That I Want. Last night ended with a well deserved standing ovation.
Many thanks to Birmingham Hippodrome for having me, as always I had a wonderful evening.
Grease runs at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday 3rd June. Tickets here: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/grease
Julie was invited on behalf of BrumHour to see Grease by Birmingham Hippodrome.