Grease certainly is the word in Manchester once again as the Paul Nicholas and David Ian production rolls in to town once again complete with "Greased Lightening" , the diner and all the elements that make up this popular show.
Boy meets girl, girl adores boy - they fall in love all against the backdrop of a 1950’s American High school; it is a well known story full of clichés and predictability but it is great fun and always a pleasure to hear so many feel good songs - performed as if they are new. . Danny Bayne is a likable Danny Zuko and has played the role for some considerable time since winning ITV’s Grease is the Word however it is Ricky Rojas’ Kenickie who steals the show. His rendition of "Greased Lightening" is a show stopper, full of energy and vitality and vocally he shines throughout. Kate Somerset How's Rizzo is another gem who plays the part with style and affection. A fabulous ensemble really makes the show fizz and serves as a great demonstration just how much fun this classic musical really is.
Robin Cousins is a delight as Teen Angel proving he is not only light on his feet but also has a rather charming voice and his vocal is genuinely surprisingly - and the audience respond well to him in the role and rightly so. Mike Dixon’s arrangements are a vast improvement on the score and are a delight, as these alterations keep the show fresh and modernise the score without drastically altering it from that 50’s feel.
The set is somewhat sparse and sometimes lacks presence such as the bedroom scene which sees all the female leads somewhat cramped in the middle of he stage rather than filling the cavernous space but the pyrotechnics and lighting go down a storm if somewhat lacking in variation and originality.
Overall this is a strong reliable production that sees a popular favourite - well directed. There is one flaw though - a poor sound mix lets the side down. As, at times it is difficult to hear the cast over the band which is a shame but these energetic performers still ensure that Grease is sure to have everyone dancing in the aisles and is set to be the "One That You Want" this Autumn.