>Rachel Avery attends a night of pelvic thrusting and hand jiving as Grease the Musical comes to Bristol’s Hippodrome theatre.
As soon as the show began, my hands were waving and my feet were tapping along to the sounds of the live band. But unfortunately, the first dance ensemble didn’t go as smoothly as planned – the backdrop screen lowered onto the unsuspecting heads of some of the cast members. The mishap went almost unnoticed by the audience until the safety curtain fell and the show was postponed for a whole 15 minutes. But as they say ‘the show must go on’… and it most certainly did! Although the cast was a few members short, Grease did not fail to live up to its name as the greatest musical of all time.
The unforgettable songs from the hit movie were brought to life in the wondrous atmosphere of the Hippodrome theatre. The electrifying dance routines provided high energy entertainment all night long, whilst the singing solos were as captivating as they were in the film. The lead star, ‘Sandy’, played by Carina Gillespie, was performed perfectly. Not only was she convincing as the sweet and innocent girl-next-door, but her vocals lived up to the epic standard set by Olivia Newton John back in 1978. Danny Bayne, who starred as super-stud ‘Danny Zuko’, also didn’t fail to disappoint with his nifty dance moves and his cracking ability to pull off some tight white gym shorts (not to be missed girls!). Accompanying the teen sweethearts on stage, were the other loveable favourites from Rydell High, including ‘Frenchy’, ‘Kenickie’ and ‘Rizzo’, who played their characters brilliantly.
I must say that the show was a little… different to the prim and proper film version I recall. The sexual tension had been cranked up a notch with lots of pelvic thrusting and lingering kisses. There were also some rather rude gestures thrown in for good measure (the middle finger makes a regular occurrence). However, as the wolf whistles from the ecstatic audience indicated, the mix of risqué scenes with the more traditional side of the 1950s love story, worked well for a modern audience. The gyrating continued when Bristol born Robin Cousins took to the stage, playing the role of Frenchy’s guardian angel. To the sheer delight of the cheering audience, the 54-year-old ‘Dancing on Ice’ judge was still shaking his hips and hitting all the high notes just like the young ‘uns.
Regardless of the curtain catastrophe at the beginning of the show, the cast really did prove that Grease is the word. There is no doubt that you will leave this feel-good musical with a spring in your step, as well as a catchy tune or two in your head. “Tell you more? Tell you more?” you say… well you will just have to go and see for yourself, but get your wiggle on because Grease is in town for one week only.
Prices start from £13 and tickets can be purchased online at http://www.atgtickets.com/Grease-Tickets/207/1041/ or directly at the box office.