No matter where you stand with musicals, everyone knows Grease. It is, quite frankly, staple musical theatre, so as the ultimate stagey person, I’m pretty embarrassed to say I’ve never seen, nor do I like the show. But after seeing RTSA’s knock out performance, I’m converted and I cannot wait to see it again! As soon as the music started, there was an instant buzz in the theatre, everyone was sat in their seats, ready to be taken back to 1950’s Rydell High.
Every single cast member was giving it their all throughout the show and the energy never faltered. From the adorable ‘Elementary School’ kids right up to the powerful leads, their energy and passion fuelled the audience, even up to where I was sat right on the back row! There wasn’t a single weak link in the cast, the movement was slick, energetic and original and the vocals were tight and precise, but special mentions have to go to a few of the leading cast.
In a show like this, there are so many ‘leading parts’, so it would be impossible to mention everyone, but I have to start with little Eugene, played by my very own brother Kiran Richards. I’ve never felt so proud watching him on the stage, he was confident, funny and working in a part that suited him down to a tee. His acting skills were amazing and he was living the part. Him and Millie Ducker (Patty Simcox) were perfect opposites and Millie’s high energy was perfect in this part- she made me knackered just watching her. She played the part with such maturity and never fell out of character, even when she was met with a slap around the face from Sandy. Jan and Roger (Ciara Stothard and Marcus Bagley- Hodkin) were also such a perfect pair. Both had outstanding vocal talent and acting skills and such a hilarious chemistry on stagey. Emily Wallbank was perfect as beauty school drop out Frenchie- sweet, sassy and everything in between. Her counterpart Dan Fenwick was also brilliant in the role of Doody. His comedic timing was spot on and it was great to see him showcase such excellent vocals when his character made us believe he was tone deaf. That’s real acting.
Will Legetter was hilarious as Sonny with fantastic acting skills, whilst Georgia Collins was very impressive as Marty and it was great to see her showcasing her vocals in this role with a fabulous rendition of Freddie My Love. Her other Pink Lady counterpart Beth Atkin was insane as the powerful Rizzo and after overhearing comments from other audience members during ‘There Are Worst Things I Could Do’, its not just me that was blown away. Her partner Kenickie (Josh Roberts) was passionate, funny and I could tell he was loving every moment. All the supporting leads were incredible, but kudos has to go to the two principle characters, Danny and Sandy. I was so excited to see Brad Ryan and Chloe Jackson as the dynamic duo and boy did they deliver. These parts were made for the pair and they were just ideal. Brad’s acting skills were better than I’ve ever seen them before and I loved seeing him bring the part to life. Chloe Jackson, however, was definitely something special. With such amazing vocal abilities and acting skills, there’s no wonder she had Danny on a string!
For me, the only downside was a few problems with microphones, which meant we missed a couple of lines of libretto and offstage chorus singing being missed but I’d put this down to a few technical teething problems and the fact I was literally sat at the back of the venue, nothing more. It didn’t affect the show in any way and I completely loved the performance. The reaction from the audience was so incredibly positive and the entire society should be very very proud of themselves!