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REVIEW: Grease is a knockout at the Cliffs
A RIOT of familiar songs, much-loved characters and some knockout performances make Grease the word at the Cliffs Pavilion all this week.
For those of us who grew up on a diet of wop-bop-a-loo-bops and wop-bam-booms with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s film, it can be hard to catch a stage version that lives up to the classic. But this production is such effusive fun, it’s hard to knock. Danny Bayne as would-be cool cat Danny Zuko is spot on with his sauntering try-hard cool and giveaway dorkiness. His Travolta-esque sniggers had the audience tickled. He makes the part his own. Winner of ITV’s Grease is the Word, he’s played the role in the West End too.
Carina Gillespie, as Sandy, showcases an amazing voice and her Hopelessly Devoted to You is a highlight. The pair are supported by top-notch dancers who never let the high-energy level and enthusiasm slip, and, of course, their fellow T Birds and Pink Ladies. Stand out performances come from Laura Wilson, as Jan, and David O’Reilly as her tubby, prankster beau Roge. There was a lot of love in the audience for Welsh baritone Rhydian Roberts in the cameo role of Teen Angel.
But Grease is a real ensemble piece, and the best moments are when the whole cast are on stage, showing off their energy, impressive dance moves and humour. HANNAH MARSH Grease is at the Cliffs Pavilion, Station Road, Westcliff , until Saturday. Call 01702 351135.