Dan Partridge & Jocasta Almgill

Grease The Musical reviews at the Dominion Theatre 2022 ★★★

Reviews are in for Nikolai Foster’s West End revival of Grease The Musical, playing at the Dominion Theatre in London.

Foster’s revival harks back to the original grittier production and may divide some fans expecting a cookie-cutter version of the saccharine film starring Olivia Newton John and John Travolta. Reviews so far have been mixed ranging from 4-stars from Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph to 2-stars from Nick Curtis in the Evening Standard.

The show is led by Dan Partridge (Link Larkin in Hairspray UK tour & Pepper in Mamma Mia! West End) and Olivia Moore (Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre & Heathers at Theatre Royal Haymarket) as the iconic duo, Danny and Sandy.

Pop star Peter Andre plays Vince Fontaine – although only at certain performances – with Jason Donovan also set to appear later in the run as Teen Angel.

The cast features Jocasta Almgill (& Juliet at Shaftesbury Theatre) as Rizzo, Paul French (Grease UK tour) as Kenickie, Mary Moore (Little Women at Park Theatre) as Jan, Jake Reynolds as Doody, Lizzy-Rose Esin-Kelly (A Chorus Line at Curve) as Marty, Damon Gould (Pretty Woman: The Musical at Savoy Theatre) as Sonny, Eloise Davies (Be More Chill at The Other Palace) as Frenchie, Jessica Croll (Hairspray UK tour) as Patty Simcox, Katie Lee (Matilda The Musical at Cambridge Theatre) as Cha Cha, Ronan Burns (West Side Story at Curve) as Johnny Casino and Corinna Powlesland (An Officer and A Gentleman at Regents Park Open Air Theatre) as Miss Lynch.

This new production of Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey’s hit musical is directed by the Curve Leicester’s artistic director Nikolai Foster with choreography by the legendary Arlene Phillips. 

Book tickets to Grease The Musical at the Dominion Theatre in London

Grease is booking until 29 October 2022 at the Dominion Theatre, London.

Read a round-up of reviews for Grease below – more reviews will be added as they drop!

Average Critics Rating
★★★

Grease reviews

The Telegraph
★★★★

"Peter Andre shines with a small but prominent part"

Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph
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The Stage
★★★

"Slick"

"Nikolai Foster’s .. has replaced all the twee of the fan favourite with something darker."

"All the joy of Summer Nights comes rushing back with the unmistakable first notes from the orchestra pit. The dance numbers, choreographed by Arlene Phillips, are as hip-thrusting and hand-jiving as ever. But the truly affecting moments come with Foster’s considered directorial choices. As Olivia Moore begins pondering her heartbreak in a flawless delivery of Hopelessly Devoted to You, she watches, sidelined, as Danny slow-dances with another girl. And in her spats with the acidic Rizzo – a wonderfully cruel Jocasta Almgill – Moore rises to become her equal. This Sandy can hold her own."

"Though the humour in this production – with the exception of the loveably loud Mary Moore as Jan – could be cranked up a notch or two, this is a good night out. And for many, the euphoria of young love will be enough to have them dancing along to the final megamix."

Anya Ryan, The Stage
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TimeOut
★★★

"A harder, darker hornier version of the classic musical"

"Nikolai Foster’s big West End revival isn’t an aggressively dramatic reappraisal, like the version of ‘Oklahoma!’ currently playing at the Young Vic. It’s more a careful sift through all the songs and story options available, that have then been pieced together into the hardest-edged version available, but without actually dramatically departing from precedent."

"Foster’s key decision is to reinstate swathes of the very first, 1971 version of the musical, which has never been performed professionally in this country (or indeed, outside of Chicago where the show originated). He’s held on to the big anthems added for the film – ‘Grease is the Word’, ‘You’re the One that I Want’ – because obviously he doesn’t want an audience riot on his hands."

Andrzej Lukowski, TimeOut
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The Evening Standard
★★

"It’s not the one that I want"

"Grim is the word. This version of the beloved 50s-set high school musical has a hard carapace of professionalism but underneath it’s colourless, charmless, and emptily energetic. The love story of bad boy Danny and goody two-shoes Sandy is insipid, and swamped by a tide of teen-drama clichés. The familiar songs still stand up, but only a few of the big numbers – Greased Lightning, Hopelessly Devoted to You and Hand Jive (here sounding alarmingly like ‘hand-job’) – have real vocal power or choreographic verve."

Nick Curtis, The Evening Standard
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The Times
★★★

"It’s highly professional."

"Arlene Phillips’s choreography offers some thrills"

"[When] Olivia Moore takes centre stage.. to sing good-girl Sandy’s impassioned lament Hopelessly Devoted to You — it simply soars"

"It’s never going to be West Side Story, fine, but even so this Grease needs a more vivid sense of lives in the balance."

Dominic Maxwell, The Times
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📷 Main photo: Dan Partridge as Danny & Jocasta Almgill as Rizzo in GREASE, credit Manuel Harlan

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