search
Barnsley
Batley
Bedale
Beverley
Bingley
Bradford
Bridlington
Brighouse
Castleford
Catterick Garrison
Cleckheaton
Cottingham
Darlington
Dewsbury
Doncaster
Driffield
Elland
Filey
Goole
Guisborough
Halifax
Harrogate
Hawes
Hebden Bridge
Heckmondwike
Hessle
Holmfirth
Huddersfield
Hull
Ilkley
Keighley
Knaresborough
Knottingley
Leeds
Leyburn
Liversedge
Malton
Mexborough
Middlesborough
Mirfield
Morley
Normanton
Northallerton
Ossett
Otley
Pickering
Pontetfract
Pudsey
Redcar
Richmond
Ripon
Rotherham
Saltburn-by-the-Sea
Scarborough
Selby
Settle
Sheffield
Shipley
Skipton
Sowerby Bridge
Stockton-on-Tees
Tadcaster
Thirsk
Todmorden
Wakefield
Wetherby
Whitby
Yarm
York
Grease - Not Quite as Slick
Phil Hopkins, Travel & Arts Correspondent
Grease is a wonderfully joyous and uplifting musical, it is touring productions that occasionally sully its reputation.

Last night as hundreds rammed into Bradford's Alhambra for an annual dose of T Birds and Pink Ladies - the 1950's 'uniforms' were clearly evident - there was a huge air of expectation.

People claim to be thrilled by all things new, however, deep down they love to know what's coming and Grease never fails to deliver - or does it?

This musical - or anything falling into the 'cult' genre like Rocky Horror or Mamma Mia - must be cock on otherwise punters, many of whom are as close to the score and lib as the players themselves, will know instantly if they are short changed.

Last night the audience was massively entertained, no doubt, but there were murmurs, you only needed to listen in the bar.

Casting Director Debbie O'Brien got it wrong placing former boy band member, Tom Parker, in the lead 'Travolta' role as Danny. It was clear that he had not had a theatre training and was outclassed by those around him including his leading lady Danielle Hope, a confident Sandy.

Parker did not have clean dance lines - make your arms stronger darling - and it was as if he didn't know where to look (up to the Gods darling). Stage presence, experience and training were absent. When will casting directors learn that boy band status is not enough to carry a full musical show; there has to be more than fame.



Tom Senior (Kenickie) or Michael Gortez (Sonny) should have been Danny.

They played their roles with confidence and, quite honestly, Senior was a dead ringer for Travolta and physically fit the bill. What was the casting director thinking putting the diminutive Parker in the lead role? He's sold hundreds of thousands of records of course. How silly of me.

Louise Lytton as Rizzo, the brash good-time-girl at the head of the Pink Ladies, sang out of tune but was a confident actress and could move well. Two out of three ain't bad but is that enough when people are spending upwards of £30 on a ticket to a professional touring show? If it was voice strain where was the understudy?

Great high kicks from Natasha Mould - I am trying to book her for my next birthday bash but she is currently unaware of her availability - and top marks to Callum Evans as classroom geek Eugene, quality always stands out, not forgetting the wonderfully talented Ryan Heenan as Doody; great voice, great moves. Good stuff comes in small packages and he is a case in point.

Also by Phil Hopkins...
Flagship site for new luxury holiday brand to open in North Yorkshire
LBT Builds Its Panto Following
Seville Break To Launch From Leeds Bradford Airport
Beauty And The Beast
Wonderful Reimagining Of ‘Wardrobe’ Classic
Grease tells the timeless story of Danny and Sandy and their blossoming love against the backdrop of 1950's Rydell High where emotions and sexual frustrations inform every minute of the school day.

Jacobs and Casey gave us some wonderful characters when they first penned this musical nearly half a century ago, however, casting directors - and subsequent casts - need to be aware that the public know this show intimately.

If anyone is slightly off key, left of centre, too tall or too small, they will know instantly because they have been in the auditorium, the singalongs and the movies every year for at least a decade. The money men need to be careful not to insult audiences in their haste to charge huge ticket prices in the false belief that they will get away with 93%.

It was a fun, colourful and largely entertaining show but, last night's performance was not top dollar although producers Paul Nicholas and David Jan, will, no doubt, still be checking their profit and loss account come March 31st, 2018!

Bradford Alhambra
Until Saturday (14th October 2017)

Grease - Not Quite as Slick, 10th October 2017, 12:16 PM