Review Sing-along-a Grease at Whitley Bay Playhouse
Over the past few months I seem to have rekindled my love for Cinema. With todays Netflix and streaming it’s so much easier and cheaper to watch a movie at home, but for me nothing quite beats the big screen.
I’ve seen some fantastic films recently – The Meg, Venom, Bohemian Rhapsody, Stan and Ollie. None of which I feel would’ve had the same impact at home. And when I saw a Bohemian Rhapsody Sing-along advertised, I had to go. So I did – twice.
So after realising Sing-alongs could be my now favourite thing, I went along to The Whitley Bay Playhouse for Sing-along-a Grease.
Now as much as I enjoyed the BoRhap Sing-alongs, I hoped and expected Grease would be different. Louder singing, more audience interaction, a bigger and better atmosphere. And knowing fancy dress is encouraged by the producers of Sing-along-a Sound of music, I threw on black skinny jeans, wedge shoes, hoop earings, black leather jacket (as I don’t have a pink one) spotty neck scarf and headed to the Theatre. Stopping for a pre-show drink on the way to warm the vocal chords.
As we entered the foyer of the Playhouse and a predominantly female audience, I easily spotted quite a few Sandy’s, Beauty School drop outs and even a couple of T-Birds. This was a relief as nobody would’ve been wondering why I was wearing shades when it was raining outside and blue eyeshadow in 2019.
On entering the auditorium, we were handed a free pops bag containing a tissue, a party popper, a checkered flag and a balloon. As the room filled, the lights went down, and the night kicked off with warm up.
During the 20 minute pre-show, the host explained the purpose of the props we’d been given which were to be used during some of the more iconic moments of the movie. Such as during the scenes when Sandy feels rejected by Danny, the start of the race at Thunder Road, and Rydell High dance. We were also given a vocal warm up, and the host invited those in fancy dress onto the stage with best dressed winning a prize.
And then as the curtains went back, the intro to ‘Grease is the Word’ sounded out, the words appeared on screen and the singing began.
As Grease is an iconic film, I don’t feel I need to go into details of the storyline, but I will say watching the film as an adult (I went through a phase of watching it pretty much every night in my teenage years), is completely different.
I picked up on moments and running themes throughout the film that went over my head as a child. My favourite character Sandy quickly became Rizzo which I feel was a popular choice as she received cheers from the audience during parts the film where some of us in the audience as adults could possibly relate. The blatant innuendos which previously hadn’t been apparent, and moments of gender politics that I’m not sure any film could get away with today. I did worry having seen the film so many times I’d possibly find myself bored between the songs. But for those reasons, and the fact Grease is such as fantastic film no matter how many times you see it, this wasn’t the case at all.
As each song began, the disco lights in the auditorium started to flash which was the audience cue to jump up from our seats, but I’m not sure we even needed a cue.
The show didn’t stop at singing and interaction with props but incorporated the choreography and iconic dancefloor moves too. We did the hand jive, wailed along to ‘Summer Nights’ (you know the whiney bit at the end of the song. We were hitting those high notes) and we joined in with a bit of Greased lightening.
The whole show which lasted around 2.5 hours with a 15 minute interval and second half warm up from the host and it was superb. As the show ended and I felt in such a happy mood and I could tell by the buzz in the foyer as my friend and I left, others did too.
I’d recommend this as a night out with friends looking to do something different. It’s not only a couple of hours singing along to a film, it’s an experience and Grease may now the word again in my house as I switch my current playlist from Queen tracks to Grease. The show went above my expectations and was everything I’d hoped for and more and I’d give it 9/10 and I’m really hoping sing-alongs are going to become a big thing over the coming months.
Reviewer: Louise Sharp Check more out here – https://louisealexasharp.com/