Grease The Musical at Royal & Derngate Northampton Review


Reviewed by Janine Rumble

Last night I went to see Grease: The Musical at Royal & Derngate in Northampton. All I can say is WOW! What a phenomenal, high energy, amazing show it was from start to finish. Everything about the show was impressive and I loved every second of it.

This show is a must see whether you are a fan of Grease or just love a good musical, I guarantee you will really enjoy this show. The acting was amazing, the singing was fabulous, and the dancing/choreography was high octane energy. How the cast managed to keep up that level of energy and performance from the start of the show to the end of the show is just mind blowing!

Set in Rydell High School, Grease: The Musical tells the story of a group of a group of high schoolers dealing with love, loss, friendships, school, expectations, gangs, adult responsibility rearing its ugly head in the future and generally their everyday lives as a teenager. It takes you on a journey as you encounter what life was like for an American high schooler in 1959.

Grease: The Musical is not a carbon copy of the much-loved film, so if you go along to expecting to see that, you may be disappointed, but if you are looking for an original take on the classic, with new songs and reworking of old songs in new parts of the story, then this is the show for you. Much of the show is similar to the film giving it a familiar comforting glow and nostalgia about it, with book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, directed by Nikolai Foster and choregraphed by none other than the infamous Arlene Phillips. There are new songs within the show and they fit in so well and help move the story along. It was a little strange to have some songs in different parts of the show, such as Hopelessly Devoted To You is sung at the very beginning of the show, but once you get into the show, you can understand why songs have been moved around, they just work.

The 25+ strong cast ensemble is impressive, especially when they are all dancing and singing on a stage full of props. Each person’s performance was brilliant, the acting, the dancing, the singing were all superb and added an extra layer to each person’s performance. I was so impressed with all of the cast and their stamina to keep the energy flowing from start to finish without it beginning to wane. I was especially impressed with the amazing singing of Hope Dawe (Sandy) and was shocked to see that this show marks her stage debut. She was brilliant.

The music and costumes were both of the era and really made the show stand out. My most favourite part is in the beauty salon where Frenchie is seeking advice on what to do with her life and is then visited by Teen Angel, it is completely a mad scene, but the costumes and the set are amazing. I could go into so many details about this production, but seeing really is believing.

The props and set were amazing, cleverly using a large set of steps to show the bleachers in the school hall and a variety of different settings. Above the stage, there was Vince Fontaine’s radio booth and the constant use of music helped lead the show from one part to the other.

I could go into so many details about this production, but seeing and experiencing it is believing it. I do not want to give too much away about the production and the clever ways that new songs have been added and a new way of telling the classic story, as it is something that needs to be experienced. If you do go to see it, I promise you, you will not be disappointed. Grease: The Musical is a must see and I highly recommend that everyone should go and see it. I give it a well-deserved 5/5 stars.

Rating: 5/5

Ticket Prices start from £27.00 and can be purchased from and the show runs till 18th May 2024 before heading off on its 2024 UK tour till November and dates and places can be found on the musical website

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