AS a child of the late 70s and 80s I grew up singing along to the unmistakable soundtrack of Sandy and Danny falling in love on the beach.

It was one of the first musicals I ever remember our mum introducing us to, and in turn, I duly did the same with my own daughter.

Some people might not realise the musical, forever imprinted on our cinematic memories thanks to John Travolta's quiff and Olivia Newton John's sewn on satin pants, actually began life on stage.

Richard Gere, of Pretty Woman fame, was actually the first ever Danny on a London stage and since the '90s it has toured with a host of talented youngsters taking on the plum roles.

It's high energy dance numbers and hugely iconic songs now make it one of the most popular musicals and one that is perfect to introduce older children to.

This joyous, fun and faithful production which has just begun a week-long run at the Cliffs Pavilion happily keeps up the tradition and my own daughter and I lapped it up.

Boy band alumni Tom Parker and Danielle Hope, who previously appeared as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz on stage having won BBC talent show Over the Rainbow, take on the central roles of Danny and Sandy and deliver on all fronts.

From start to finish it is high energy, colourful fun with everyone taking centre stage - not just Danny and Sandy.

Louisa Lytton, who I have only ever seen in quite demure roles, is actually an inspired Rizzo and her rendition of that character's signature song was very moving while Essex-boy Darren Day has a huge amount of fun in his dual role as Vince and Teen Angel.

In fact everyone has fun from the minute the live band appears at the top of the stage to provide the musical accompaniment to the minute the cast make their last curtain call.

Thanks to choreography from former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips all the routines feel fresh and exciting, incorporating the signature moves with new ideas so the likes of Greased Lightning, the One that you want and We go Together fizz along and make you want to dash up on stage and join in.  Even after more than 40 years, this is one show you never tire of seeinglyug.

Grease really is the word. 

Lauren Oldershaw  

  • Grease is at the Cliffs Pavilion, Southend, until Saturday when there will be a matinee performance at 5pm as well as an evening show. Performances on weds and Thurs evening begin at 8pm and on Friday and Saturday, 8.30pm. Suitable for children aged eight and above.

Tickets, starting at £.37.50, are still availablee. Contact the box office on 01702 351135.