Grease Review – Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Grease
Image Source: What's On Stage

Show: Grease

Location: Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Date: Tuesday 16th November 2021

Time: 19:30

This is our theatre review for Grease at Liverpool‘s Empire Theatre. So, let’s take a look at Grease!

Grease

Synopsis

Everybody knows the story of Grease! Indeed, Sandy and Danny meet over the summer break, fall in love, and with Sandy supposedly returning back to Australia, it looks like they will never see each other again. Flash forward to September, and Sandy’s plans have changed. She enrols in Rydell High School, where she discovers that Danny is also attending.

However, Sandy’s excitement to see him is not reciprocated, with Danny showing off his bad-boy attitude in front of his gang, the T-Birds (though in the musical version, ‘The Burger Palace Boys’). As the story progresses, we see the many ups and downs of not just the lead characters’ relationship, but also the dynamics of the two gangs, culminating in a huge, dazzling finale where ‘the whole gang is back together again’!

Analysis

The Liverpool Empire was buzzing with excitement for this popular show, with many people in fancy dress, and lots of pink jackets in the audience! In a sparkling, powerful opening number of ‘Grease is the Word’, the energetic cast really made an entrance, with powerful vocals, slick dance routine, and a stage filled to the brim with electricity. The powerful energy of the cast remained throughout, with the finale getting everybody up and dancing along.

Throughout the show, the two stand out characters of course were Sandy (Ellie Kingdon) and Danny (Dan Partridge). The duo captivated the audience throughout with their strong vocals (though it was very difficult to hear them sing due to the number of audience members who thought they were at a singalong!) Ellie Kingdon throughout brought the naivety and innocence to Sandy’s character, while still managing to belt out and show her vocal range during ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’. It was a shame we didn’t see Sandy in many dance numbers, as during the finale Kingdon proved her dance ability was as strong as the rest of the cast. Dan Partridge was a perfect Danny, really showing the Travolta-esque attitude that the role demands.

Further Notes

Other supporting roles in the Pink Ladies and Burger Palace Boys were equally as strong as the leads, and it was lovely to see such a full cast on the stage when many other shows seem to have scaled numbers down. Some standouts of the supporting cast include Marianna Neofitou as Frenchy, Maeve Byrne as the loveable Jan, and Paul French as Kenickie.

I must also mention Peter Andre, who appears as both Vince Fontaine and the Teen Angel. With many people coming to the show as fans of Andre, the audience erupted as soon as he came on stage, making it very difficult to hear what he was actually saying! However, he did bring cheekiness to both of his roles, which the audience loved. Plus, his rendition of ‘Beauty School Dropout’ was note-perfect.

Additional Thoughts

The dancing throughout the show was fabulous. Well rehearsed, slick and all the dancers were well-matched, with no weak links hiding at the back. The only routine which did disappoint was the very popular ‘Greased Lightning’. This was quite messy, out of time and really needs some cleaning, especially on the turns and flighted press-up sections. This really was a shame as every other routine was so synchronised, especially the hand jive.

One thing that brought down proceedings was the behaviour of the audience, who felt the need to try and get their phones out at every opportunity and start singing along as they videoed the show. This resulted in the staff at the Liverpool Empire having to run up and down the aisles constantly with torches in peoples faces, and at times I found myself distracted from the actual show, and watching the audience rather than the cast. Many audience members seemed to think it was a singalong showing and not a musical, which is a shame for the cast who did such a brilliant job.

Summary

All in all, this is a brilliant, feel-good show. It’s easy to follow, though a little disjointed in times. Plus, there’s plenty of high energy singing and dancing, and it’s just an all-around great time! There are many young cast members who are still starting off their careers. And it’s clear to see that they will all go on to do amazing things in the industry.

Notes

Target Audience: 12+
Content: Mild Language & Sex References
Recommendation?: Yes

Overall Rating: 9/10- Outstanding

Grease Further Links

So, Grease runs at the Empire Theatre until Saturday November 20 2021And you can still buy tickets for this show.

The show also has its own website for you to check out.

Furthermore, you can read our previous review of this show.

Did you see Grease? Let us know by leaving a comment below!