Venue - Theatre Royal, Newcastle
Dir - Sandra Laidler
MD - Michael Lamb
22nd July - 26th July 2014
Newcastle Upon Tyne Musical Theatre Company
Well, Well Well.... Its that time again! Another Show Another Review! This Time I was taken Back to 1959, to discover life in your typical American high school. Elvis was truly king, Music was in its glory days, and teenage rebellion and BoZo the Clown were just getting started. Yes, its Grease, the hit musical that has stolen everyone's hearts with its comic, and at times dramatic storylines. This Version, sent me to the Theatre Royal, one of my all time favorite venues, to what would ultimately blow me away. This Version, Brought to me by the Fantasmical Newcastle Upon Tyne Musical Theatre Company, was simply astounding.
Its very rare that I can see a show these days and not find a thing wrong, but in this case they have proven to me that it is possible! It had everything, Tight, energetic Choreography, Sweet, sweet harmonies, and the cast and crew to match! The visuals were amazing, the cast were perfect, and that band brought the whole thing in with a little spice and Theatricality. I knew from that first stage reveal, that this was going to be something special, and it truly was...
Joshua Bamling was our Danny, a complex and typical teen, and brought character and charisma, as well as and updated portrait of the role. Lauren Gordon was simply stunning, and she managed to capture the persona of Sandy exceptionally well, as well as making me rather emotional with her ability to bring truth and humanity to the role as well as hold a note.Other notable performances, were from Zoe Payne, Playing Frenchy, Who nailed both the voice and characteristics of the character. I was also surprised at JoJo Hatfield, Who seemed to carry the heavy drama that was Rizzo, A troubled teen who is lost and confused, and has a few scraped along the way. All I all this spectacular version, Included, Laughs, Thrills, and the odd Tender moment, that really got you when you least expected it.
Director Sandra Laidler has really put her own spin on things, and given this production a spicy tantalizing blend of Music, Comedy, Drama and most importantly Nostalgia. Add to that Some 'Full Moon' moments and a sassy Flying Angel and you have a show that is not to be missed! (Leon Gill, Hilarious Job by the Way!). This Musical surprised me in many ways. In sheer quality, as I have been well and truly blown away, on a professional level, yes I'm still struggling to believe that these guys are Amateurs! and through sheer talent of both cast and crew. Huge Congrats has to be said to Nathen Raynard for a brilliantly Planned Lighting Design, and to everyone backstage who made this show move like clock work, being smoothly run, and professionally managed and perfectly executed! This team of people are ones that you need to look out for and experience for yourselves, Because tonight, They have proven to me that Grease is most definitely still the word!