REVIEW: Grease - The Landmark Theatre 06/02/15

Ilfracombe Academys performance of Grease was as snappy as well, lightning! That's probably the worst thing every I've ever written in my life but with all bad puns excused the performance was actually one that I found myself very impressed by. This was mostly due to the heaps of enthusiasm put in from every single person that stood on the stage that night. I am not ashamed to admit that since watching the show at the Landmark my love for Grease has returned and I may or may not have purchased the soundtrack on both CD and vinyl and bored everyone to death with my countless renditions of We Go Together- I even found myself humming it while washing the dishes at work? I do hope it had the same effect on everyone else because I'm slightly worried just how much I'm loving it at the moment. If you too have found yourself singing Freddy My Love or Look At Me I'm Sandra Dee whilst walking down the corridor at school please let me know that I'm not alone on this one!

I soon forgot it wasn't a professional performance and even some of the singers whose voices weren't quite as strong put in their all and that was what counted for me. I soon found myself having so much fun but I wasn't quite as lively as the lady to the left of me who was absolutely unbeatable. I think she was either a teacher or parent but whatever connection she had from the first song onwards she was singing, dancing and at some points screaming all the way through and her happiness seemed to spread to everyone around her. It wasn't long before a lot of people (including myself) were accompanying her in singing and swaying along in tune. But if I wasn't singing, I spent a lot of time envying Rizzo and her ability to dance in her red heeled shoes so effortlessly. This was shown in full-swing as everyone danced during the hand-jive competition. This was one of many points during the night where I personally had to resist the urge to get up and join in.

I'm sure many of you are aware of the storyline to Grease, but if you've persumably been under a rock for your whole life the musical tells the story of two high school lovers who are initially on opposite sides of the school spectrum. Danny Zuko, of the T-Birds, and Sandy have a holiday romance before Sandy is meant to return home to Australia. When her parents decide to stay she ends up at the same high school as Zuko and finds herself alongside the Pink Ladies. The version performed on Friday was similar to the movie but with less smoking, sex and apparent pregnancies!

The one thing that sticks firmly in my brain was the delightful girl who performed as Sandy. With a voice that I personally thought topped Olivia Newton-Johns and the perfectly innocent aura to match she really did make the show. When she sang the high note at the end of Summer Nights I could practically feel the room go still in awe. The vocal talent didn't just stop at Sandy though, there were a fair few strong singers among the cast. Those Magic Changes was another impressive vocal highlight sung by Doody; the boy who played him really did suit the song and was very believable in role. It was the smaller details he added that made the character his own and subtle reactions to the dialogue of other characters really displayed his acting ability.

More of a comedy element to the show was introduced through the use of an overenthusiastic dancing caretaker. You would often find him between scenes getting extremely carried away dancing across the stage and he was thoroughly loved by the whole audience. You also had the synchronized shouts of "Ohhhh Eugene!!!" at appropriate parts throughout the show which of course meant the hilariously pompous but nerdy Eugene was to make an appearance.

My only criticism comes alongside a positive. The car prop used to dance on and around whilst the T-Birds sang Grease Lightning was almost real to life and must have taken a long time to make. I thought it was a shame we didn't see more of it and I wish it had a bigger part to play in the production. This may be because we were seated to the right and it was hidden from view slightly more but it was such a big part that I think it would have been worth using for another scene, even if it was just as the show drew to a close.

Ilfracombe Academy put on a show that was spirited, contained lots of humour and most of all had such an enthusiastic cast. Even if I'd arrived that night and been presented with a variety of bad singers, dancers and actors it wouldn't of mattered because everyone put in there all and had fun. Fortunately I was presented with a variety of good singers, dancers and actors and best of all everyone was giving it everything and that is what I loved the most!


If this review has left you ready and raring to go on a trip to the theatre Grease is just one in a variety of shows put on at North Devon Theatres. Check out there website to see which shows are up and coming: http://www.northdevontheatres.org.uk/


2 comments

  1. I love Grease, especially the musical! I saw one myself here in Australia and few years ago and was equally blow away by how good it is. Nothing really beats going to the theatre for me! Such a fun outings :)

    Carly x

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    1. The same for me too, I love both Grease and the theatre way too much! They are so much fun :)

      Katie xx

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