Date 5th October 2019
Society LOS Musical Theatre
Venue Lewes Town Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Jacqui Freeman
Musical Director Ben Knowles
Choreographer Joanna Thomas


Author: Brenda Gower

This was a show that was not to be missed and as it was a sell out as soon the tickets were available, those from Lewes and the surrounding area must have thought so too!  There was always so much going on which was all beautifully controlled by Director Jacqui Freeman.  Although first produced in 1971, this show still feels modern with so many energetic young people in the cast – the teenage hormones were certainly rampant at times at Rydell High!

I have always loved the story of Sandy coming to a new school after a wonderful summer on the beach with the highly desirable Danny and having to go through rejection from Danny and humiliation from the Pink Ladies.  All was not lost though as Sandy was eventually accepted by the girls who helped to change her image much to Danny’s delight.  A happy ending but a great deal of highly watchable theatre in between brought to us by this very talented cast.

The main characters Danny & Sandy, played by Jack Allsobrook and Olivia Surgey were ideal in these roles, using their expertise to make us really believe in these characters as did the rest of the cast who were all exploring love, friendship and teenage rebellion. Great performances from the Pink Ladies, the rest of the girls and all the boys.  All attitudes and posturing were great from them and, of course, the ensemble with so much energy from all.

We mustn’t forget the other two members of cast whose teenage years may have been just a little while ago!  I’m sure Rydell High was in very safe hands with Miss Lynch in charge, played with style by Sarah Hall, with Ray Gabbard as Vince Fontaine/Teen Angel – both of his characters played with aplomb.

The scenery was perfect and as always at Lewes, moved with ease when needed.  So much goes on backstage that your audiences can’t be aware of, ie  stage management, stage crew, set design and construction, sound, lighting, wardrobe, makeup, publicity, front of house and so the list goes on.  All the hard work certainly paid off.

The unseen orchestra led by MD Ben Knowles made such a great sound and were a superb accompaniment to all the singing.

The beautifully presented souvenir programme made a really good read with excellent colour photography.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would have loved to have got up and danced (not possible these days!) as I guess others were itching to do.  Congratulations to all involved, whether on or off stage and particularly to Director Jacqui Freeman, MD Ben Knowles and Choreographer Joanna Thomas.