REVIEW: Grease is the word as the hit musical comes to The Alexandra, Birmingham

Grease is well and truly the word as the hit musical delivers its most electrifyin’ show yet at The Alexandra, Birmingham.

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When someone says the word ‘Grease’ it’s more than likely that your mind is going to jump straight to the iconic movie, where the Pink Ladies and the T-Birds discover the trials and tribulations of teenage angst and heartbreak, mixed with a jukebox of smash-hit songs.

The movie was a huge hit, but its stage version holds a fierce competition, with its latest UK tour taking the crown in being the grittiest and sexiest yet.

Grease the Musical opened back in 1972, where it blew the roof off the Eden Theatre in Downtown Manhattan, earning it a whopping seven Tony Award nominations, despite being located outside the legendary Theatre District.

The Burger Palace Boys in Grease, credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes

The movie followed in 1978 where Grease’s success sky-rocketed to a global level. New tracks from the film including: “Hopelessly Devoted To You” and “You’re The One That I Want”, were introduced into the stage show for its Broadway revival in 2007 after proving to be such a huge hit with viewers.

There aren’t many people who don’t know the storyline of Grease, starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, so when it comes to taking your seat, you already know that you’re in for a great time.

While the musical differs ever so slightly from the movie – the T-Birds are the Burger Palace Boys – there’s still plenty to enjoy in this show, from high-energy dance routines and additional songs that bring that little extra, it delivers on every level, whether you’re a hardcore fan or maybe watching the show for the very first time.

Dan Partridge reprises his role as the slick Danny Zuko, it’s clear that he was born ready to step into Travolta’s shoes with his enchanting charm. Having previously played the charming Link Larkin in the UK Tour of Hairspray, this era is one that suits him to the bone.

Dan Partridge as Danny & Alishia-Marie Blake as Cha Cha in Grease, credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes

It’s the simple touches alongside his powerful voice that hook you in from the get-go – a comb of the hair here, a shrug of the leather jacket there. Partridge, for me, is the ultimate Zuko and whoever follows him next has got big shoes to fill.

He’s joined by Ellie Kingdon, who makes her professional debut as Sandy. She takes no prisoners with her voice; soothing, but packing a punch in her solos where it’s needed, Kingdon and Partridge make a dynamic duo. They’re the real deal.

Fan favourite Peter Andre is also back as Teen Angel and Vince Fontaine in certain roles. Previously, I’d missed Peter as Vince, so it certainly took the show up a peg or two and he was an absolute treat watch even when he was simply spinning a record in the background – the audience just couldn’t get enough of him.

Peter Andre as Vince Fontaine in Grease, credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes

The supporting cast are fantastic and make short work of the complex dance routines, teamed with a set that’s as slick as it is stylish, this latest tour of Grease really is the full package.

An utter riot that’ll have you dancing in your seat, Grease the Musical is an absolute must-see for anyone who loves musical theatre. Book your tickets now and thank me later.

Grease the Musical runs at The Alexandra Birmingham until Saturday, November 6. Click here to book tickets.

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