CAROLINE CULOT Norwich Theatre Royal
If you haven't badly screeched You're the One that I Want or Summer Nights on a karaoke night, then you haven't lived. You know the songs off by heart, you were brought up on the 1978 movie – a familiarity that makes Grease a
Its appeal? Who really knows? But Grease just seems to offer something for everyone, whether you are six or 60.
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This tour of what has become a classic production is all you hope it will be. The singing is of an extremely high standard and the big numbers live up to expectations.
Clever sets and wonderful costumes bring you all the magic – you get the car, which is transformed into a killer machine, and you get the chills when Sandy (Suzanne Carley) comes out in a skin-tight black catsuit in the finale.
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But of course the show, which came before the movie, is different and the part of Danny is much less of a lead role.
Ben Richards, reprising his West End performance, stepped into difficult dancing shoes – Travolta made the part his and I felt Richards was in a dilemma over whether to overplay the role, exaggerating the laugh and the swagger that somehow the movie star did so subtly. Or, should he play it straight?
The result was a slightly weaker performance than you might expect, although Richards' interpretation brought out the sensitivity and the sweetness of the teenager. And, girls, he is very cute-looking too!
Suzanne Carley made a charming Sandy with a big smile and a big voice to match, Robbie Scotcher excelled as Kenickie and Mary Doherty gave a truly moving performance of There are Worse Things I Could Do.
It's all there and the ecstatic crowd at the end was proof that Grease is, and always will be, the word.