Why it’s Grease lightnin’ at Alban Arena!

PUBLISHED: 07:05 06 November 2014

L-R Bethan Rufey as Sandy, Andrea Campusano as Frenchy and Elise Allanson as Rizzo

L-R Bethan Rufey as Sandy, Andrea Campusano as Frenchy and Elise Allanson as Rizzo

Archant

If there was to be an award for the feelgood show of the year in the district, it would have to go to St Albans Operatic Society’s production of Grease.

It opened on Tuesday evening at the Alban Arena and the first-night audience gave it a standing ovation with a considerable number dancing in the aisles.

Of course Grease is very popular and has some of the catchiest songs of all time but it takes an accomplished, energetic and enthusiastic cast combined with a skilled director and choreographer to have real impact - and this production has it in spades.

From the frenetic ensemble numbers to Sandy’s Hopelessly Devoted and Danny’s rendering of Sandy, the appreciative audience clapped and whooped. The cast visibly grew in confidence as the evening progressed although they must have known they had the audience totally on their side by its reaction to another Grease classic, Greased Lightning, in the first act.

Experienced director Alan Cox returned to SAOS - soon to change its name St Albans Musical Theatre Society - to take the helm on Grease and he must be delighted at how the high-energy production with its young cast owned the stage.

Bethan Rufey as Sandy and Oli Martin-Smith as Danny were well cast, both with excellent voices and the ability to immerse themselves in their key roles. Their task was made much easier by the calibre of those surrounding them on stage.

Special mention has to go to Charlie Harden as Eugene, the nerd who has the best comic part in the show, Adam Herbert Keene as Kenicie, the owner of the aforementioned Greased Lightning, and Elise Allanson as the feisty Rizzo.

Oliver David as Roger was brave enough to moon on the stage - all in perfectly good taste - and I loved Debby Connor as teacher Miss Lynch hand-jiving in Born to Hand Jive.

Altogether Grease is what Craig Revell-Horwood on Strictly Come Dancing would describe as ‘fab-u-lous’.

It runs until Saturday and tickets can be obtained from the Arena box office on 01727 844488 or www.alban-arena.co.uk/events/grease

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