Review: Rockers give polished performance of Grease
St John Fisher's latest production, Grease, was an absolute triumph and featured a talented cast of singers, actors and dancers from years nine to 13.
Directed by Miss Booth, choreographed by Mrs Noonan and with musical direction from Mr Beetles, the story follows high school kids Danny (Joey Starr) and Sandy (Dominique McIntyre) as they fall in and out of love, supported by their friends, the T-Birds and Pink Ladies, as well as all the characters you know from the film – Patty Simcox, Cha Cha, Eugene and Miss Lynch.
The ensemble cast shone in all singing, all dancing numbers such as Summer Nights, Born to Hand Jive and We Go Together, with the Prom scene featuring some amazingly complex lifts and choreography in which Mrs Noonan was ably assisted by former student Jo Stephenson.
The male cast, led by Jake Abbott as Kenickie, really stood out in their fast-paced, exciting performance of Greased Lightning.
As Danny, Joey Starr gave a hugely entertaining and convincing performance, channelling those John Travolta moves and getting huge laughs with his cool guy persona.
His solo of Sandy was beautifully sung and sensitively acted, and he commanded the stage confidently throughout.
The supporting T-Birds, Jake Abbott as Kenickie, Daniel Tunstall as Sonny, Pablo Disley-Gonzales as Doody, and Connor Wall as Roger all worked exceptionally well together as the gang, creating some real comic moments.
The boys were engaging and so watchable in every scene, whether they were delivering their lines with attitude, or simply combing their greased back hair in role.
The Pink Ladies were feisty and equally entertaining, and oozed glamour and cool in every scene. All the Pink Ladies had stunning voices and delivered beautiful solos – Marty played by Hannah Clarke and Ella Slater singing Freddy My Love; Rizzo played by Rebecca Tiernan-Davidson and Eleanor Eden belting out There are Worse Things I Could Do with gorgeous sensitivity; and Ailis Lydon as Jan, keeping the audience entertained and laughing during her hilarious duet Mooning, with Connor Wall.
Dominique McIntyre was perfectly cast as Sandy; and completely embodied the charm and innocence of this central role, bringing the house down with her sensational solos Hopelessly Devoted and the reprise of Sandra Dee. The band, directed by Mr Beetles, provided great quality, toe-tapping rock and roll music throughout and gave flawless musical support to the fantastic on stage action.
The stage was used well; it was inventively staged and directed by Miss Booth who maximised the comedy, and there was a real feel of American High School due to the fantastic costumes courtesy of Mrs Pye.
It was a real community effort, with backstage and front of house support from students and staff alike, including students on the BTEC Performing Arts (Production) course who sourced and made some of the props. Everything ran smoothly and professionally, with stage management from Mrs Staunton meaning scene changes were slick and subtle.