YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I WANT
Mr Robertson gives Grease a rave review.
Warminster School’s production of Grease was definitely ‘the one that I wanted’ at the Athenaeum last week. What a production! The spirit of the 1950s was wonderfully brought to life in this lively show. There was not a weak moment, from the cast bursting forth from the back of the stage singing the title song to the bouncing excitement of You’re the One That I Want.
The cast were absolutely top notch. Ben Stone and Emma Aspray as Danny and Sandy carried off their American accents with aplomb. Their singing was also very strong. Ben’s solo in Sandy showed great confidence and Emma’s Hopelessly Devoted to You was brilliantly heartbreaking. However, they did not overshadow the rest of the cast. The Pink Ladies all had their moments in the spotlight and never failed to deliver. Maisie Fogg as Rizzo brought exactly the right attitude to the role and backed it up with a tremendous voice. Her rendition of There Are Worse Things I Could Do was spine-tingling. Rebecca Pearson’s Marty also showed a maturity that belied her years. Millie Eden-Hamilton’s Jan brought humour to the group, grabbing everyone’s coleslaw in the opening scene and then singing a wonderful harmony with Rebecca on Freddy My Love. However, I had an especially soft spot for Phoebe Bolton who was a great Frenchie. Her desire to be a beautician was both great comedy and a sad failure as well, as we learned when Tom Taylor marvellously serenaded the Beauty School Dropout whilst the chorus danced around in angelic costumes with curlers in their hair. Freya Smye as Patty and Alice Robinson, as an attention-grabbing Cha-Cha, also deserve a mention, showing off the wealth of talent that Warminster has to offer.
The boys were not to be left behind. Alex Maclaren and Alfie Dackombe were wonderfully humorous as leather jacketed gang members, especially on Those Magic Changes, ably backed up by Mark Antrobus, making a confident debut in a school production. Ben Pearson was suitably geeky as Eugene. I was hugely impressed by Rory Lomas as Kenickie who combined attitude and confidence to great effect. His spirited romp through Greased Lightning (complete with a sleek looking car) brought the audience to their feet.
Of the other roles, Elspeth Todd caused much mirth as Miss Lynch, the teacher who ‘rocks out’ when she believes no-one is watching and Lewis Tarplee, showed great confidence when serenading the cast with Born to Hand-Jive. The chorus were strong, bringing exuberance to all the great dance numbers.
This was a very ambitious show that was ably coordinated by the Drama and Music departments. Much credit must go to Emily Harris and Catherine Simons who directed and choreographed the show, and Caroline Robinson and Gareth Williams who brought the music to life.
Thanks, as ever, must go the endless staff and pupils who worked behind the scenes, giving up their time to help coordinate the show, as well as the staff of the Athenaeum. I look forward to seeing next year’s production. It will need to go a long way to show more energy than this!
To view all photographs please visit Flickr (Jon Edkins, David Wiltshire)