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Gallery/review: Grease, the children’s theatre company Ipswich, New Wolsey Theatre, to July 19

10:51 17 July 2014

Charlie Pittman as Danny and Brodie Mayhew as Sandy in the children

Charlie Pittman as Danny and Brodie Mayhew as Sandy in the children's theatre company's production of Grease. Photo: Mike Kwasniak

© Mike Kwasniak Photography 2014

My wife, something of a Grease aficionado, has given various stage versions the thumbs down over the years. But last night she was up bopping and hand-jiving with everybody else.

Talk about hot summer nights. Yes, opening night nerves led to a few little slips here and there and the scene changes could’ve been quicker but this was as close to faultless as its gets.

There was a lot of pressure on director Bridie Rowe and the cast of 13-21 year olds’ shoulders after last year’s extraordinary Les Miserables. Then there’s the fact everybody knows these characters, these songs, inside and out.

Different to Les Mis in so many ways, what was the same was the quality of the performances.

Everybody, both principals and chorus, was so fantastic it feels really wrong to single people out. I’ve got to tip my hat to Teen Angel Niall Morris though, whose version of Beauty School Dropout rightly threatened to bring the house down.

Samantha Patching’s choreography really brought the many full on dance numbers to life too and the band were great.

I’m looking forward to the Ipswich group’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat next summer. In the meantime, throw your mittens around your kitten and take her to see this show. Performances have sold-out but it’s definitely worth checking for returns.

Wayne Savage

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