Grease, Octagon Theatre, Yeovil

Yeovil Youth Theatre presents GreaseYEOVIL Youth Theatre’s “Grease” was chock-a-block with energy from the word go. As the fact packed programme informed us: “The watchword with a production like “Grease” is FUN” – and fun it certainly was. As one of the few people there with a bus pass, it was a treat to witness the eager anticipation and excitement of the largely youthful audience before the show began. They were not to be disappointed.

So many productions of “Grease” merely want to copy the film as closely as possible, but in Yeovil we had originality and freshness along with vitality and sheer professionalism. The principals, lead by cool dude Danny (Zade Milnes) in his tight jeans and jacket and Sandy (Louise Cannon), looking so sweet in her cardigan, were uniformly excellent. The smaller cameo roles too, were played for all they were worth. Of the solo songs, I would single out the poignant “There are worse things I could do” and “Hopelessly devoted to you” – both very touching, while “Mooning” produced a heart-felt “aaaah” from the audience at the end.

But it was the set pieces that really did it for me, with their sparkling dance routines and fine ensemble singing. Quite honestly, many of the numbers were so good you wanted them to go on and on; I doubt if anyone would have minded had the show been thirty minutes longer! “Freddy My Love” for example was just a delight with some great harmony singing from the girls, while the choreography and sheer spectacle of “Greased Lightnin’” was a real exuberant showpiece for the boys. Concentration, discipline and attention to detail never once wavered, and seeing the entire cast onstage for “We Go Together” made you too wish you were a student at Rydell High! (At least it did me.)

This is the first time I have seen Yeovil Youth Theatre in action and I can assure you it will not be the last. I had been told they were good, I was ready to enjoy myself and perhaps to be impressed, but I was totally unprepared to be completely bowled over. It was a privilege to be there.

Saturday 17th November 2013

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