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Review

Grease


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Tuesday, 21 July 2015


SET in the early 1950's, the title Grease is derived from the name given to working class youth in the USA who, from eating greasy food in the burger palaces and diners popular across America, were known as "Greasers". Recreating the rock ’n’ roll sounds of the time, Grease remains one of the best- loved and most performed musicals in the world. And tonight, BBLOC launched their run with a solid performance throughout, ending on a highly energetic, fun filled and joyous Grease Mega Mix finale with the full company.

Setting the scene as we arrived at the Pavilion Theatre, a fabulous pink Cadillac parked out front was being photographed by audience members, many of whom arrived in costume - a full array of Pink Ladies, 'T' Birds and Sandy’s complete with tight black trousers and off-the-shoulder tops, exuberant with anticipation. In the foyer of the theatre, a photo booth was offering free prints of your party with a Grease background and was proving to be very popular.

For Neil Tallant and Becky Bagnall, playing Danny and Sandy, there was the hurdle of stamping their own mark on roles clearly belonging to the film actors John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, which they both achieved with aplomb.

A powerful performance from Kirstie Rogers as Rizzo, and an outstandingly bubbly and excitable Frenchy played by Sally Wheeler, was reinforced by Marty's (Emma Wogan) spirited Freddy my Love. The classic well known numbers were securely executed ; Kenickie's Greased Lightnin' dynamically sung by Paul Mathews, the duet, Mooning, from Roger (Adam Mecklenburgh) and Jan (Jo Uzzell) was comically engaging and Johnny Casino's Born to Hand Jive nailed by Max Fry. Sonny (Giles Surridge) and Doody (John Bishop) were both wonderfully foolish and completed the 'T' Birds with high-quality vocal solos.

The set, well used by amateur societies, worked well in the spacious stage of the Pavilion and although there were many scene changes, for opening night these appeared to be achieved without any hitches. Costumes were tremendous and wigs well fitting - an achievement worthy of a mention.

The strong orchestra was superbly directed by MD Lee Marchant, with Martyn Knight taking deserved credit for directing and choreographing this complex show. I would like to wish the whole company good luck in maintaining the momentum for the next six performances till Saturday 25th, including matinees on Thursday and Saturday, having set the bar so high tonight.

Sandy Marsden


Nerve Media

Thursday, 25 July 2015


SET in the early 1950's, the title Grease is derived from the name given to working class youth in the USA who, from eating greasy food in the burger palaces and diners popular across America, were known as "Greasers". Recreating the rock ’n’ roll sounds of the time, Grease remains one of the best- loved and most performed musicals in the world. And tonight, BBLOC launched their run with a solid performance throughout, ending on a highly energetic, fun filled and joyous Grease Mega Mix finale with the full company.

Setting the scene as we arrived at the Pavilion Theatre, a fabulous pink Cadillac parked out front was being photographed by audience members, many of whom arrived in costume - a full array of Pink Ladies, 'T' Birds and Sandy’s complete with tight black trousers and off-the-shoulder tops, exuberant with anticipation. In the foyer of the theatre, a photo booth was offering free prints of your party with a Grease background and was proving to be very popular.

For Neil Tallant and Becky Bagnall, playing Danny and Sandy, there was the hurdle of stamping their own mark on roles clearly belonging to the film actors John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, which they both achieved with aplomb.

A powerful performance from Kirstie Rogers as Rizzo, and an outstandingly bubbly and excitable Frenchy played by Sally Wheeler, was reinforced by Marty's (Emma Wogan) spirited Freddy my Love. The classic well known numbers were securely executed ; Kenickie's Greased Lightnin' dynamically sung by Paul Mathews, the duet, Mooning, from Roger (Adam Mecklenburgh) and Jan (Jo Uzzell) was comically engaging and Johnny Casino's Born to Hand Jive nailed by Max Fry. Sonny (Giles Surridge) and Doody (John Bishop) were both wonderfully foolish and completed the 'T' Birds with high-quality vocal solos.

The set, well used by amateur societies, worked well in the spacious stage of the Pavilion and although there were many scene changes, for opening night these appeared to be achieved without any hitches. Costumes were tremendous and wigs well fitting - an achievement worthy of a mention.

The strong orchestra was superbly directed by MD Lee Marchant, with Martyn Knight taking deserved credit for directing and choreographing this complex show. I would like to wish the whole company good luck in maintaining the momentum for the next six performances till Saturday 25th, including matinees on Thursday and Saturday, having set the bar so high tonight.

Lianne Brown


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