Greased Lightnin' is back on the road again for its latest UK tour.
Everyone knows the music of Grease, it was the iconic film of its time, and all of the songs feature in this new stage adaptation by David Gilmore. The production features Tom Parker as Danny, Danielle Hope as Sandy and Louisa Lytton as Rizzo. Two of these castings were a good choice, one not so.
Danielle Hope was a good casting choice because she has the delicate fragility that is required of Sandy and is able to show a raunchier side at the end of the show. Her singing voice is just as good as it was on the TV talent show that brought her to fame, although sometimes lacks power in the higher notes.
Louisa Lytton is great as Rizzo, she has the attitude of her character perfectly and her singing and acting are excellent throughout. The weak link is Tom Parker. This is Tom's acting debut having become famous for performing in the band The Wanted and it is clear throughout he is not 100% comfortable in his new surroundings. He lacks the presence required for such an iconic character as Danny with Tom Senior, who plays Kenickie, having much more stage presence. Tom's singing voice is excellent, as you would expect, although it seemed strange that when he sang his big numbers he had to use a separate handheld microphone which distracted from the dancing.
The band for this show are excellent and it was a nice touch by the stage designer to put them on a platform at the back of the stage. The MD, Griff Johnson, works hard to get the audience clapping and joining in throughout the show.
There is not a massive amount of set in this production and sometimes it feels slightly as though the show has been done on the cheap and then, like the scenes with the bleachers and the bar at the end, that thought goes away as the show becomes more elaborate.
Overall this is a good show, it has the great music that everyone knows and loves, the choreography is excellent and the majority of the cast are really good, however the show lacks something. Part of this will be the lack of presence from the lead character but there was also something else that I can't place.
I enjoyed this show and if you like the music of Grease you will like it as well but, unlike lots of other shows, I won't be rushing back to see this particular production.
Reviewed by Daniel Keen at the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent.
This production of Grease is currently touring the country until 31st December 2017. For more information and to book your tickets visit the shows website.