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Grease The Musical Review

Grease the Musical is an all singing, all dancing spectacular based on the 1978 film of the same name directed by Randal Kleiser.

The musical, which was being shown at the Dominion Theatre over the summer, follows a similar storyline of the film, where Danny and Sandy become ‘Summer Lovers’ but had to say goodbye as summer ended. Unexpectedly the pair were reunited at Rydell High as Sandy transferred to the area, giving the young lovers another chance of being together … but it all comes down to if Danny is able to let go of his ‘cool dude’ status to be with sweet and innocent Sandy!

I went to see the show for the second time on its closing night on October 28th, my comments are going to be based on this performance as the last time I went was over a year ago … though I do remember very much, enjoying Peter Andre as Teen Angel and Vince Fontaine!

This time around, Danny Zuko was portrayed by Dan Partridge, who has been in the role since 2019. Alongside him as Sandy Dumbrowski was Olivia Moore, who has also been doing the show for multiple years. Unfortunately the chemistry between the pair lacked in places and the love between them was missing. I also didn’t come out from the show feeling wowed by the leading lady, and sadly feeling as though she did not suit the role; with that being said Moore’s vocals were great. Although still not completely blown away, I was more impressed by Partridge who was on stage a lot more, especially with his group the ‘Burger Palace Boys’, and I really enjoyed his solo rendition of ‘Sandy’.

In contrast to the leading roles, Kenickie and Rizzo played by Solomon Davy and Jocasta Almgill, were absolutely phenomenal giving a flawless performance and portraying their love-hate relationship perfectly. Davy, who was playing Danny’s right hand man, was staring in his first ever West End show having recently graduated, but you would never guess his age based on his confidence and impeccable stage presence! Kenickie was the main man in my favourite scene/song from the show – 'Greased Lightnin’' – and Davy really brought the character to life in the incredibly up-beat scene. The young actor has already secured his second contract, performing in Cinderella at the New Wimbledon Theatre around Christmas, so I’m looking forward to going there to see him in action again. Almgill, brought the sassy character of Rizzo to life fantastically, her vocals particularly in ‘There Are Worse Things I Could Do’ were amazingly beautiful.

A difference from the film was that the story wasn’t fully centred around Danny and Sandy, instead we got glimpses into others characters storylines. This gave the ensemble time to show their fantastic vocals, the show was perfectly casted by David Grindrod Associates CDG, but I was particularly impressed by the likes of Jack Reynolds, Callum Henderson, Katie Brace and Ellie Kingdon who played Doody, Roger, Jan and Marty respectively. In contrast, I really wasn’t a fan of Darren Bennett’s Vince Fontaine, I found the whole time he was on stage super cringy and hard to watch. Another negative, unfortunately, was that the American accents from some of the cast were poorly done, again making me cringe at times.

From the moment you entered the theatre you are greeted with the 1950’s theme, with a very small radio playing old songs and vintage clips being shown on the screen. This was just the beginning of Colin Richmond’s beautiful set design which accompanied the props, lighting, and action on stage perfectly. I was also a fan of the Richmond’s vintage costume designs, really emphasising the 1950’s vibe. Like I mentioned earlier, 'Greased Lightnin’' was a highlight for me being brilliantly choreographed by Arlene Phillips and Richard Roe. ‘Beauty School Drop Out’ was also a fun one to watch with the previous ‘cool dude’s’ of the ‘Burger Palace Boys’ all wearing pink to accompany Jason Donovan’s Teen Angel singing to Frenchy, played by Olivia Forster-Browne.

The whole show was a real feel-good watch which brought so much energy to the stage, it was impossible to know where to look with so much going on! Unfortunately, at times the show was a little hard to follow with scenes jumping without any real explanation – for example at one point Danny was being chased by police, but the following scene seconds later was at a drive-in with Sandy who a few scenes back wanted nothing to do with each other! The differences from screen to stage such as the ‘T-Birds’ being the ‘Burger Palace Boys’, and the songs order being changed seemed weird having grown up watching it a specific way. I found the ending a little anticlimactic – apart from the fact we received a kiss blown from Dan Partridge! – and since it was their final show I expected a little more, but perhaps since they know there’s going to be a tour, they didn’t find a speech necessary. I would therefore give the show 4.5 stars because apart from the few less likeable moments I had a fantastic time watching the show I had been obsessed with since a child and will definitely be going back when it goes on tour next year!

I would definitely recommend Grease the Musical to any theatre goer or Grease fan when it goes back on tour in April 2024, it’s a great evening out and you can even have a sing-along at the end during the mega mix!

Access at the Dominion Theatre

Located a 15-20 minute walk from Charing Cross, the Dominion Theatre is located on Tottenham Court road. We arrived a few hours early as I wanted to do stage door to get my programme signed, all the cast were so lovely (even in the pouring rain) and we even got to see leading stars Dan Partridge and Solomon Davy (with the help of Darcy Simmons <3).

When it was time for our show we went back round to the front of the theatre, having already been before I opted to sit in a box as last time when we sat in the stalls I couldn’t see the ending as everyone stood up. We got escorted round to the Nederlander box which was all step free and easy for me to navigate. Having had a disrupted view at Les Miserable in a box, I was nervous to see how this would be but I was pleasantly surprised. We had the whole box to ourselves so I had full range of where I sat, I chose right at the front, I couldn’t see the back of the stage but that was my own choice. There was a platform I could’ve sat on to see more but I wanted to be closer to the action, though still a great addition from the Dominion Theatre. We had a brilliant view and was so close we could see their facial expressions so clearly!

The staff were all lovely and we had our own host who was great. I couldn’t access the shop but our host went and took pictures of everything so I could decide what to get. Overall a fantastic experience.


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