Hopelessly devoted to this show

Duchess's High School Grease at Alnwick Playhouse
Duchess's High School Grease at Alnwick Playhouse

Grease the Musical, Alnwick Playhouse, Wednesday, March 28 to Saturday, March 31.

IT never ceases to amaze me how talented the young people in Alnwick and surrounding areas are.

Duchess's High School Grease at Alnwick Playhouse

Duchess's High School Grease at Alnwick Playhouse

And Grease is just another example of the wealth of young stars we have.

With pupils from Year 9 to Year 13 at the Duchess’s Community High School taking part, it proved to be a real whole-school production and every single student involved, no matter how big or small their role, should be congratulated for the performance, which I think rivalled the professionals.

Grease is a much-loved musical, a family favourite, and the Grease megamix will never get old, no matter what generation you may be. And being an avid fan of the film and show, I was hoping that the high school wouldn’t let me down – they certainly didn’t, in fact they completely surpassed my expectations.

While every member of the cast shone on stage, there were some that literally took my breath away.

Kiya Bowers was absolutely outstanding as Sandy. I have never heard such a beautiful, tuneful voice from a teenager before and expect brilliant things from her.

Her performance as the prim and proper Sandra Dee, who turns into a sexy leather-clad chick at the end was just superb. In fact, as I tried to review it on the night, I was running out of adjectives to describe just how wonderful she was.

Her solos, in particular Hopelessly Devoted To You, and duets, as well as the bigger songs, were simply sublime. Every set of eyes in the audience was on her and she sang with such feeling, elegance and poise.

Co-star Danny, played by Kieran Renner, is another star in the making. He pulled off the cool and slick character perfectly and had a great voice.

His dance scene with Cha Cha (Anna Spowart) at the High School Dance, proved he had the moves, as did Anna.

In fact, all the T-Birds (Jordan Shiel as Kenickie, Harry Brierley as Doody, Tyler Angus as Roger and Toby Hope as Sonny) showed their dancing talents during their rendition of Greased Lightning.

The choreography was superb and the boys did a great job, both singing and dancing. Of course, it would be rude not to mention the car itself – what a machine!

It completely looked the part and while it could have been difficult to incorporate the car scene into the production, the directors got it just right.

Matching the lads, the Pink Ladies – Lindsay Manion as Rizzo, Amy Barrett as Frenchie, Sam Smith as Marty and Freya Stone as Jan – were equally as good.

Lindsay managed to get the character of Rizzo spot-on and with attitude. Her renditions of Sandra Dee and There Are Worse Things I Could Do were great.

And who could forget the geeky Eugene, played by Ben Kinloch? He was hilarious, especially in his scenes with Patty Simcox (Annie Davison), who was equally as over-dramatic and funny.

The final scene, with You’re The One That I Want was truly reminiscent of the film and brilliantly acted by all who took part in it.

And then the finale, with an encore of Greased Lightning, Summer Nights and We Go Together was a fitting end to such a brilliant production.

A special mention must be given to the band, made up of students from the high school, which was also superb.

The outfits were also perfect for the show, very 1950s and well-designed. I could go on, but suffice to say that this was one of the best high-school productions I have seen and long may their hard work and dedication to theatre continue.

It is great to see such a body of talent in the youth of today and that they are putting it to such good use.

The standing ovation from nearly every single member of the packed-out Playhouse audience was a true testament to just how fantastic the show was.

HELEN MILLICHAMP

Cast: Kieran Renner, Jordan Shiel, Harry Brierley, Tyler Angus, Toby Hope, Ben Kinloch, Ishy Khatun, Mathew Winter, Sam Aldred, Kiya Bowers, Lindsay Manion, Amy Barrett, Sam Smith, Freya Stone, Annie Davison, Diana Wrangham, Anna Spowart, Chris Richardson, Jack Wyld, Andrew Kane, Ellis Cochrane, Helena Davidson, Hannah Firth, Izzie Cooper, Kirsty Hensleigh, Leonie Douglas, Laura-Jane Atkin, Catherine Walker, Rosalyn Browell, Emma Callighan, Alice Hall-Thomas, Chloe Renner, Lucy Farley, Amelia Calliaghan, Abbie Donaldson, Kitty Chrisp, Bronwen Stout, Caitlin Brown, Gina Pearson, Rowan Wood, Stacey Turnbull, Laura Brewis, Mark Gray, Tommy Sarosi, Andy Holden, Jake Brook, Tom Beeby, Ben Gothorp, Sam Murray, Jonny Cavaner, Joe Beeby, Anna Brown.