Grease is the word at the Garden

Grease is the word this Sunday as the Newcastle Musical Theatre Company (NMTC) take to The Alnwick Garden to perform a preview of their Theatre Royal production of the hit musical.

Singing old favourites from the show made famous by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John in their 1978 film version, the Pink Ladies and T-Birds will provide a taste of what is the NMTC’s most ambitious production to date.

Comprising of a cast of more than 40 performers, the company must sell £110,000 of tickets to break even, which includes £55,000 NMTC costs for the musical rights, set and costume and the live orchestra.

NMTCs show will run nightly from July 22-26 with matinee performances July 24, 25 and 26.

The production is directed and choreographed by nurse and dancer Sandra Laidler, with musical direction provided by trumpet player and conductor Michael Lamb, who has been with the company in the capacity of musical director for five years.

Sandra , whose extensive performance career includes numerous lead roles in North-East productions, as well as previous direction for the Whitley Bay Operatic Society said: “This has been the biggest challenge in my directing career so far. The thought of directing and choreographing something like Grease, to be performed at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle, is completely and utterly overwhelming but I have found the entire company totally professional and so full of energy and enthusiasm, and enjoyed every moment of rehearsal time.”

The company held open auditions this January for the leading roles, which saw seventeen-year-old St Cuthbert’s High School student Josh Bamling secure the part of the audacious Danny Zuko and eighteen-year-old Newcastle College student Lauren Gordon that of goody two-shoes Sandy Dumbrowski.

Josh, who hopes to pursue a career in musical theatre said: “When I had the opportunity to audition to [perform the show] at the Theatre Royal I was so excited. I love all of it! The songs are great, the choreography is fantastic, the story is a classic and I’ve met some really brilliant people at NMTC.”

Previews of the NMTCs Theatre Royal production of Grease will take place at The Alnwick Garden 22 June at 12.30, 13.30 and 14.30 and are free with entry to The Garden.

Tickets for the Theatre Royal performance, which range from £9 to £22, are available at www.theatreroyal.co.uk