facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
Are you missing theatre as much as we are? Support us now with Theatre Tokens and see your favourite shows when they reopen. #IMissTheatre

Grease

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 21 April 2008

Black leather, skin-tight lycra, gyrating hips and horny teenagers – it is the perfect recipe for a family musical. Grease, after all the hype and reality television casting, was back in the West End last night, when Grease Is The Word winners Danny Bayne and Susan McFadden stepped onto the Piccadilly stage. Matthew Amer was at the first night to see if they really did go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong.

You pretty much know what you are going to get with Grease. We are all acquainted with Mr Travolta's early dance breakthrough and Olivia Newton John's transformation from prim and proper student to sewed-into-her-trousers sex kitten. But those of you who haven't seen the stage musical before may be surprised in a very good way by the slight changes to the plot in the theatre.

Rizzo's big number There Are Worst Things I Could Do, is one such change. For me, probably the best song in the show – you can keep your Greased Lightnin's – is sung accusatorially to a slightly patronising Sandy, sparking the cardigan-toting student's new lease of life. Of course, all the numbers that everyone knows and loves are still there and had the first night audience clapping their nostalgic hearts out.

Another minor song from the film, Those Magic Changes, like Beauty School Dropout, is a song that doesn't really fit into the plot, but comes from nowhere to become a bizarrely hilarious set piece.

All eyes were undoubtedly on Bayne and McFadden, who coped admirably well with the pressure. Bayne in particular surprised many an audience member with his ability to find the comedy in Danny, switching between love-struck teen and too cool for school gang member. He looked at home, and not dissimilar to Travolta, in the iconic leather jacket.

Siobhan Dillon, who fans of reality casting will remember from How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, also makes a striking West End debut as cheerleader Patty Simcox, shaking her pom poms with expertise.

Elsewhere among the cast, Jason Capewell, as DJ Vince Fontaine and Teen Angel, has hammed up his part to a deliciously porky degree, all teeth, flashy jackets, Smashy and Nicey tones, with the merest hint of lechery.

David Gilmore's production is full of neon lights, bright colours, high-energy dance routines from the mind of Arlene Philips and a feel-good factor that is hard to find anywhere else. Judging by the reaction of the first night audience, it is certainly the one that they want.

For more from the first night of Grease, read .

MA

Share

Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.