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Chris High reviews: The Liverpool Empire performance of Grease 2006


Jarrod Carland
Hayley Evetts, Stuart Ramsay, Deborah Hayward, Jason Capewell
Director: David Glimore
Choreography: Stori James

Liverpool Empire Theatre
Tuesday August 29th

Grease:  promotional image

Review of GREASE
from Liverpool Empire Theatre

Some shows simply go on forever. Carousel, Oliver, Guys and Dolls and, West Side Story will all be, surly, around as long as there are stages on which to perform and audiences to entertain. Grease is also entering this category, as the very fact of the show being sold out indicates.

Unfortunately, though shows might run for all time, productions vary dramatically and this was – at best – below par from previous outings.

The cast were all fine, with Jarrod Carland impressive in the role of loveable rogue Danny and Hayley Evetts covering the famed Olivia Newton John role as girl-next-door, Sandy. Special mention should be made, too, of Jason Capewell’s performance as Vince Fontaine / Teen Angel, who hammed it up superbly well, but still allowed his obvious vocal talents to shine.

The sets and the dancing were all okay too, with the songs speaking for themselves. There was not a voice in the audience that wasn’t singing along to Summer Nights or Greased Lightening, with the car’s transformation from heap to hot-rod still remaining an effects highlight even after all this time.

Yet, overall somehow, the show appeared a little tired. The actors seemed to run through their lines as though reading from an auto-prompt, without giving their scenes any real “life”.

This was particularly true of Deborah Hayward in the role of Rizzo, who on discovering she might be pregnant, took the news with all the dismay of finding out she’d be dropped from the netball team.

Perhaps this is due to the length of time the show has been on the road – six months and counting – but overall it is to its detriment that the cast have not been given fresh challenges.

Grease is a timeless musical filled with great songs. It’s shame then to see its popularity contribute to its downfall.


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