Musicals Extend: Quinn in Grease, Blood BrothersDate: 28 July 2009
Grease, which celebrated its second birthday at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre this past weekend, has announced two extensions: current Danny Zuko, Dancing on Ice victor Ray Quinn, has added eight weeks to his contract, while producers have added a further eight months to the show’s booking period.
Quinn, who made his West End debut playing Doody in Grease, returned to the show on 11 May 2009 to play Danny until 3 October 2009. He will now continue until 28 November 2009, alongside Emma Stephens as Sandy. The production itself is now booking through to September 2010.
In other Grease news, the show will feature as part of a new Sky1 reality TV series. Grease: The School Musical, hosted by Duncan James, follows last year’s Hairspray: The School Musical. It tracks a group of ordinary secondary school pupils who spend their summer holidays working with musical theatre professionals - including Ray Quinn, who acts as a mentor - in order to make their West End debuts. The programme airs in August.
Grease is directed by David Gilmore, choreographed by Arlene Phillips, and produced by David Ian and Paul Nicholas, by arrangement with Robert Stigwood. The 1972 Broadway musical was immortalised by the 1979 film version, in which John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John played Danny and Sandy.
The musical originally ran for six years in the West End, first at the Dominion and then at the Cambridge Theatre, returning to London for a short run back at the Dominion in 2001 and at the Victoria Palace in 2002/3. In between, it has toured the UK extensively, produced since 1993 by Ian. Its current West End season launched at the Piccadilly Theatre on 8 August 2007 (previews from 25 July).
Grease has book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. It’s now-famous songs include “Summer Nights”, “Look at Me I’m Sandra Dee”, “We Go Together”, “Hopelessly Devoted to You”, “Beauty School Dropout”, “You’re the One That I Want”, “Greased Lightnin’” and “Grease Is the Word”.
At the Phoenix Theatre, one of the West End’s longest-runners, Blood Brothers, has opened a new eight-month booking period and is now taking bookings through to 31 July 2010. This production of Willy Russell's Liverpool-set musical about twin brothers separated at birth first opened on 27 August 1988 at the Albery Theatre before transferring to its current home at the Phoenix in November 1991. Blood Brothers is directed by Bob Thomson and Bill Kenwright and designed by Marty Flood.