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Grease slides in to Bromley in the first production for 25 years

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 September 2019

The T-Birds are bound to be up to no good. Picture: Manuel Harlan

The T-Birds are bound to be up to no good. Picture: Manuel Harlan

Archant

Is Grease the ultimate rock 'n' roll romance? The movie caused a sensation when it emerged in the 1970s and now the story of unlikely love between Sandy and Danny is coming back to the stage in Bromley.

Peter Andre is Teen Angel bringing a little bit of heaven to the new Grease stage play. Picture: Manuel HarlanPeter Andre is Teen Angel bringing a little bit of heaven to the new Grease stage play. Picture: Manuel Harlan

This is the first new production in 25 years of Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey's iconic musical.

Dan Partridge, Martha Kirby, Louis Gaunt and Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky star as Danny, Sandy, Kenickie and Rizzo respectively. And they are joined by Peter Andre who is playing Teen Angel.

The 1978 film adaptation from a stage play, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, when adjusted for inflation, is the highest-grossing live action musical of all time and celebrated its 40th anniversary last year.

The musical features beloved songs including Summer Nights, Greased Lightnin', Hopelessly Devoted To You and of course You're The One That I Want - all with choreography by Arlene Phillips.

Starting her career in the big time - Martha brings Sandy to life in her first professional performance. Picture: Manuel HarlanStarting her career in the big time - Martha brings Sandy to life in her first professional performance. Picture: Manuel Harlan

Experienced Dan Partridge has recently been in Cats, Hairspray and Mamma Mia, while Martha Kirby is graduating from the Guildford School of Acting this summer, making this performance as Sandy her professional debut.

Producer Colin Ingram said: "At last a new production of Grease with a cast who look and dance like they are in high school.

"It's time to come back to one of the most popular musicals of all time with this new production with grit, energy and sass."

And artistic director and director Nikolai Foster, added: "This cast are going to blow audiences' minds with their edge, life-force and sheer exuberance. Just as the 1950s kids who heralded the birth of the teenage movement, these talented young people will breathe new life into this terrific musical."

The T-Birds are bound to be up to no good. Picture: Manuel HarlanThe T-Birds are bound to be up to no good. Picture: Manuel Harlan

Choreographer Arlene went on: "I'm so thrilled to have the opportunity to choreograph a new production of Grease.

"This new production is going to be edgy, vibrant and certainly takes a new look at this very exciting musical. The cast are incredible, many of them fresh out of college and ready to burst onto the stage."

As a stage play, it originally opened in Chicago in 1971, followed by a move to Broadway in 1972, where it received seven Tony Award nominations, including one for Best Musical.

The T-Birds are bound to be up to no good. Picture: Manuel HarlanThe T-Birds are bound to be up to no good. Picture: Manuel Harlan

During the show's eight-year run, at the time little known actors including Peter Gallagher, Patrick Swayze and John Travolta, all appeared in the production, with Richard Gere understudying many roles before going on to star as Danny Zuko in the 1973 London premiere.

Martha said: "To be able to do it on a big scale like this is an honour. I've watched Grease since I was a child, it's my mum's favourite so when I called her to say that I had got the role of Sandy, she went mental and was delighted.

"I also did Grease when I was younger, it was so much fun and I loved every second of it. It's really exciting for the role of Sandy to be my professional debut after drama school."

And Dan added: "They are iconic roles. With this version of Grease being a slightly different production, a new version of the script, a little darker and with the addition of a couple of new songs, it gives us a little bit of licence to move away from the image of what Grease has been in the past, and these characters. It doesn't have to be squeaky clean."

Peter Andre is Teen Angel bringing a little bit of heaven to the new Grease stage play. Picture: Manuel HarlanPeter Andre is Teen Angel bringing a little bit of heaven to the new Grease stage play. Picture: Manuel Harlan

As for the new grittiness, Dan said: "There's more historical context to the characters being teenagers in the 1950s, what it was like to live in Chicago at that point in time; it's less 'bubblegum' than the film and previous productions but you still get the iconic moments."

Grease The Musical comes to the stage at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, from October 8-12.

Many of the shows are already sold out but there tickets available for some performances - call the box office on 020 3285 6000.

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