Grease - which has recently extended its current West End season at the Victoria Palace by five months (See News, 25 Feb 2003) - has introduced several cast changes this week.

Joanne Farrell has taken over from Caroline Sheen (who has moved on to become the new Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Sandy. Farrell's previous musical theatre credits include Saturday Night Fever, Showboard and Smokey Joe's Café, while on screen, she's been seen in Dream Team, Cold Feet, Crossroads, Waking the Dead and London's Burning.

Former Steps' pop star Lee Latchford-Evans has finished his run as Teen Angel, with the role now being played by existing cast member Paul Burnham, who also continues as Vince Fontaine. And Kenickie is now being played Richard Taylor Woods, whose other West End credits include Boyband. Ben Richards, who joined the cast in January, continues to star as Danny.

The current cast also includes Dawn Spence (Rizzo), Daniel Boys (Roger), Mark Powell (Sonny, Ben Forster (Doody), Lorraine Graham (Jan), Emma Cannon (Marty), Tanya Carida (Frenchy), Gary Jordan (Eugene), Lucinda Gills (Patty), Kerry Jay (Cha Cha) and Catherine Greeney (Miss Lynch).

Grease premiered on Broadway in 1972 and was immortalised by the 1979 film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The stage show previously ran for six years in the West End, first at the Dominion and then at the Cambridge Theatre. It returned to the Dominion for two weeks in October 2001 as part of a year-long, UK-wide tour, at the end of which it transferred to the Victoria Palace in September 2002.

Written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Grease, this production of Grease is directed by David Gilmore, choreographed by Arlene Phillips and produced by Paul Nicholas and David Ian. The show is currently booking at the Victoria Palace up to 6 September 2003.

- by Terri Paddock