REVIEW: GREASE (Curve Leicester) ★★★★

Grease is the word at Curve Leicester this Christmas – an automatic, systematic hydromatic production, perfect for all ages and ideal for those wanting a bit of festive fun without having to so much as utter the words “he’s behind you!”

It’s a story we all know and love. The naïve, sheltered, innocent Sandy (Jessica Paul) meets the cool, sexy, street-wise Danny (Dex Lee). They enjoy a whirlwind summer romance and then go their own ways – Danny back to school, Sandy back to Australia. Until Sandy’s plans change, that is, and she appears right in front of Danny’s eyes at Rydell High.

Directed by Nikolai Foster, this terrific production is guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face and wanting more.

I enjoyed Dex Lee’s refreshing interpretation of Danny. He is powerful in the role and the eye is drawn to him even when he is not at the forefront of the action.

Jessica Paul has 100% made the role of Sandy her own. In a role that is so iconic, it is apparent that she is doing more than just mimicking Olivia Newton-John’s classic performance. Jessica’s Sandy is stronger, more sure of herself and even, at times, funnier. I would even dare to say that Jessica’s Sandy now has more substance than Olivia’s.

Dex and Jessica’s chemistry feels very real and believable. I particularly enjoyed Dex’s interpretation of Danny’s struggle to keep in line with his friends and yet follow his heart.

A role I was not expecting to be mesmerised by, however, was that of Rizzo, played by the fantastic Djalenga Scott. The staging and performance of There Are Worse Things I Could Do brought tears to my eyes – a song I have previously never been a fan of.

Keisha Atwell is fantastic and downright hilarious as Marty in a role she truly seems at home in. Jonny Fines is a cool and yet quietly sensitive Kenickie and his Greased Lightening was simply brilliant. I also loved Sophie Camble’s interpretation of goody two-shoes Patty Simcox.

There is no weak link in this fabulous casting by Kay Magson, however, as each and every actor is truly outstanding.

Nick Winston’s choreography is breath taking and truly one of the most memorable aspects of the production. Athletic and yet stunningly beautiful – it feels real and in keeping with the characters and setting of the show. The production design by Colin Richmond was hugely impressive and easily one of the best I have seen at Curve.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the Curve to see Grease. The whole production is zinging with energy. It is jam-packed full of toe tapping tunes and eye watering performances from a terrific cast. If you’re looking for a way to kick start 2017 – I thoroughly recommend treating yourself, your family and your friends to Grease at Curve Leicester.

Reviewed by Rosie Bambury

Grease plays at Curve Leicester until 21 January 2017