Dominion Theatre – until 29th October 2022
Reviewed by Emily Cliff
Summer nights are arriving in London with the weather getting warmer and the flights getting longer and along with it lands Grease The Musical on the west end at the Dominion theatre. Starring 90’s icon Peter Andre, this new adaptation brings fun, summer lovin’ back to the west end for a limited run.
If you’re familiar with the film you will know that the jukebox themed tunes and poppy musical influences are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face, and the same happens when you see it in the theatre. While you may not be able to run around your living room dancing along to all of the tracks in this version, it sure does supply the same feel-good feeling onstage as it does on screen.
The first company number we see is Grease is the Word. It is everything you would expect and more. A high energy number fulfilled with brilliant harmonies shows you that this production means business and sets up the show for an evening of fun loving hits. With the addition of new songs that aren’t in the film, a whole new context is put into the story. Still loosely following the love story of Sandy and Danny, this version of the stage show gives more limelight to supporting cast members not just principal cast members.
One supporting cast member that stood out was Mary Moore playing the role of Jan. Grease marked her West End debut and she smashed it out of the water. Providing perfect comedic timing as well as beautiful vocals to accompany, Mary was the perfect fit for the character of Jan. Olivia Moore’s version of Hopelessly Devoted was simply flawless, it is such a shame that her character was not as present in the onstage story as the film story.
Unlike the film, Sandy and Dany’s love story is a component that is not as present in the story as in other productions of the musical. This production focuses more on the friendships and relationships between the Pink Ladies and the Burger Place boys. That aside the staging and the lighting of this production were phenomenal. The clever use of lighting from above made for some extra special bits of theatre magic. And Grease Lightning herself was definitely a highlight of the props onstage.
The only criticism I have for this production is that some of the dances weren’t as punchy and poppy as you would hope in a high profile production such as this. The Hand Jive number and the Grease Lightning dance break felt a little messy and clunky and not as sharp and on beat as previous productions of Grease.
Overall, this show is a lot of fun through and through. With iconic songs under its sleeve and a beautifully diverse cast to perform them the summer nights ahead for the west end will be simply amazing. Complete with a fun megamix at the end this show is bound to keep you singing and dancing all the way home.