Dazzling and energetic choreography by Arlene Phillips which keeps the cast of this the granddaddy of high school musicals – it opened on Broadway in 1959 – endlessly on their toes is the main reason for seeing this latest revival. One could add the first rate band which belts out the score with aplomb but the direction by Nikolas Foster is limp and the story line, such as it is, smothered in the dance routines never makes any sense. Rydale High is in a state of complete and utter confusion. The leads are efficient enough but there is precious little sexual chemistry on display between them and some of the singing is truly awful. Peter Andre appears in a couple of tiny roles but for all the impact he makes he might as well have stayed home and he couldn’t get the house on its feet for his big moment opening Act 2. The show has great songs, the 1978 movie version starring John Travolta is a treat and so have other touring versions of this much revived show. But take away the dancing and you might as well stay home. The sets are not worth mentioning and while it was nice to be reminded of the songs it would have been even nicer to have heard them sung. I did not have a blast – there are, frankly, better places to spend a summer evening.
Danny Zuko: Dan Partridge.
Sandy Dumbrowski: Olivia Moore.
Betty Rizzo: Jocasta Almgill.
Doody: Jake Reynolds.
Sonny Latiero: Damien Gould.
Mary Moorem Darnell Mathew-James, Corinna powlesland, Katie lee, Jack Harrison-Cooper, Richard-Kyro Nelson, Kalisha Johnson, Remi Ferdinan, Zaxk Guest, Kevin O’Dwyer, Paul French Noah Harrison, Eloise Davies, Lizzy-Rose Esin-Kelly, Jessica Croll, Darren Bennett, Ronan Burns, Pearce Barron, Ben Culleton, Ellie Kingdon, Kamilla Fernandes, Imogen Bailer, Carly Miles.
and at certain performances – Peter Andre as Vince Fontaine & Teen Idol.
Director: Nikolai Foster,
Choreography: Arlene Phillips.
Scenic & Costume Design: Colin Richmond.
Lighting Design: Ben Cracknell.
Sound Design: Tom Marshall & Richard Brooker.
Musical Direction: Dan Glover.
Production photographs: Manuel Harlan,