Everybody knows Grease; we all know the story, we all know the songs and we all know the film. But what you may not be familiar with is this version. This revival of Grease, in one of its old London homes, the Dominion Theatre, takes the beloved show back to its original form. The original production has been brought back to life and the piece benefits from it massively.
This production originated back at the Leicester Curve theatre and after doing a few rounds of the UK on tour, it’s finally hit back into the West End, and it comes back with a bang.
What you get out of this production is a much more fleshed out storyline with more grit and drama centred around the characters. Yes, all the loved moments and numbers are all still there but what we end up with is actually a much better production. At times the story did drag a little in Act 1 but this is me being very picky, on the whole, the show benefits from this in such a huge way. Meaning the show goes from being your classic crowd-pleaser to a proper engrossing musical with depth. Nikolai Foster brings the musical back to its routes with his newly directed version and with choreography from Arlene Philips, this musical is truly electrifying! Together with a brilliant and innovative design by Colin Richmond, they’ve got a hit on their hands.
A fresh cast brings new life into this show and executes the piece with precision and energy. With casting by theatre legend David Grindrod, this has to be one of the best-performed shows I’ve seen in a long time.
Dan Partridge as Danny Zuko brings style and ease to the role but also brings really natural and likeable acting to it too, making this iconic character his own but still paying homage to those who have come before him.
Olivia Moore suffers in this production as we as an audience don’t get to know Sandy as much as we do in the other versions, her part has shrunk however she still brings vocals that blow the roof off the huge Dominion.
Eloise Davies stands out as Frenchy, a character that can easily be played in a caricature way but she brings realness to it and becomes an audience favourite.
Standouts from the ‘Burger Palace Boys’ (or the T-Birds, as most of us know them) were Noah Harrison as Roger who had the most incredible vocals, Damon Gould as Sonny who brought so much character but also a lovable version of the role and Paul French who gives a mesmerising performance as Kenickie.
Another scene-stealer of the evening was Jessica Croll as Patty Simcox, with great energy with outstanding dance skills.
I have to mention this ensemble, whilst all had little roles here and there as a group they really came alive and their energy was just infectious. You wouldn’t really think of Grease as a ‘dance show’ but they’ll change your mind, some of the best moves on the West End.
This is a really great production and whilst it may not be what audiences are expecting, it’s a much-needed revival that the West End needs right now to inject some life into it. An absolute mind-blowing cast and it’ll be one I will definitely be returning to!
Review by Mark Swale
Seat: K33, Stalls | Price of Ticket: £135