As a popular musical theatre show, it’s not unusual to see Grease hit local venues every couple of years. Fareham Musical Society were the latest to take on the fan-favourite under the direction of Sam Sampson.
Stuart Frank impressed as Danny Zuko, with stage presence and swagger, particularly shining with his second half solo, Sandy. His love interest was portrayed by Grace Campbell, who ably transitioned from naïve newcomer to T-Bird temptress.
Claire Plumridge was fantastic as sassy, scene-stealing, Rizzo. Her two solos were real highlights, vocally excellent and delivered with fabulous characterisation.
Ewan Wharton competently led the cast in the famous Greased Lightning, as Kenickie. Special mention must also go to his fellow T-Bird, Roger. An announcement informed the audience that due to unforeseen circumstances, Anthony Davies would be playing the role. With little over a week to prepare for the show, Davies gave an assured and comical performance; blending in with the cast as if he’d been there all along.
Sean Ridley and Hannah Edwins were popular with the crowd as Doody and Jan respectively. Meanwhile, David Johnson did a good job in the second half as Johnny Casino and the Teen Angel.
However my highest praise goes to choreographer, Helen Wallis. The dancing, throughout, was the best I’ve seen from the society, by quite some margin. With slick execution and enthusiastic attack, the ensemble numbers were fantastic, particularly We Go Together and Shakin’ At the High School Hop. Even the more subtle routines in songs such as Freddy My Love, were both creative in composition and polished in delivery.
As always, musical director Valerie Tucker and her band were impressive all afternoon.
By the end of the show, the crowd were fine voice, clearly enjoying the famous Megamix.
For Fareham Musical Society, Grease is indeed the word.