|Date||14th June 2019|
|Society||Springers Amateur operatic & Dramatic Society|
|Venue||The Civic Theatre Chelmsford|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Ian Myers|
|Choreographer||Brett Gillborn and Kieran Bedwell|
Author: Christine Davidson
With a packed, excited auditorium and the screams of ladies sitting near me during the opening sequence, it was obvious that this was going to be a fun night at the theatre. The audience were definitely there to sing along and dance at the end of the show.
Director Gary Jarvis with assistant director Rachael Wilcox and Musical Director Ian Myers brought Grease to life on the Civic Stage. They provided energy and pace which whirled through the first half leaving us all almost breathless. The choreographers Brett Gillborn and Kieran Bedwell also did a brilliant job with all the numbers. I especially loved the Cheerleading scene and the Hand jive dance contest, while the shower and the mooning scenes were both hilarious.
There was great energy and sparkle from the entire cast, who you could see loved being in this production. There was wonderful team work from everyone. Yes the scene changes were a little long but worth it for the splendid scenery that was hired in. The costumes for this production were good, with Gary making all the cheerleaders outfits and sorting out the T Birds logos. Props were great; especially the food on stage, while the detail for everything was really excellent.
Danny Zuko (Jon Newman) strutted the stage in his tight jeans and thrusted away merrily which drew gasps of admiration and screams from the girls in the audience. A super voice, he embodied the role. Sandy (Hannah Yarwood) innocent and sugary sweet also had a beautiful voice and looked great in the final scene in the leather and blonde curly wig. They were a very strong partnership and extremely well cast by the directors.
The T-Birds were Dan Schultz as Roger, Ian Pavelin as Doody, James Beaver as Kenickie, Dan Carlon as Sonny. Dan Schultz’s mooning song was great, especially the high notes and I loved the energy of James Beaver as Kenickie. His ‘Grease Lightning’ was great fun and you could see just how excited he was being on stage. Ian Pavelin was very comedic in the song ‘Those Magic Changes’ and as a team they all really worked well together - as if they had been friends for years.
The Pink Ladies in their famous jackets came to life. Ruby Mortimer as Marty, Kat Mckeon as Frenchy, Sophie-Anne Chaplin as Rizzo and Alexandra Philips as Jan. Alexandra always gives us a great comedic acting class on stage and has a powerful voice; her duet with Dan Schultz was super.
Kat as Frenchy was delightful; I loved her scene with Mat Smith (Teen Angel) in the song 'Beauty School Dropout'. Mat has a great singing voice and looked incredible.
Ruby Mortimer’s rendition of ‘Freddy My Love’ was charming and she looked beautiful, especially in the red kimono. Sophie-Anne Chaplin as Rizzo brought the character to life, I did feel she came over well as the bitchy hardnosed girl who wants to look tough but underneath is really misunderstood.
The geeks Eugene (Kieran Bedwell) and Patty (Isobel Churches) with Susan Corina as Miss Lynch the School Principal were all perfectly cast as was Andy Corrie as Vince Fontaine and Helen Arber as Cha Cha. Helen’s dancing really stood out during the show.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable evening with a real feel good factor. The montage of songs at the end gave everyone a chance to sing along and it was great to have the added ‘You’re the one that I want’ as apparently it’s not in the musical but in the film, this was really appreciated by all the audience.
Congratulations to all.