Review: Grease by Inspirations Theatre Company

It was an era of ponytails and greased-back quiffs, cheerleaders and the hand-jive. The bad girls wore hip-hugging pencil skirts, the good ones had flowery flared dresses. The songs all bounced to the same rhythm, and every other line was ‘bop shoo-bop’ or ‘ramalangadingdong’.

It was the 1950s, rock ‛n’ roll ruled, and Grease is the musical which best captures the spirit of those simpler, long-gone times.

Dot Clarke’s Inspirations bring it to the Pomegranate stage this week, with all the energy and enthusiasm audiences expect from this tireless young company.

Crisp choreography comes courtesy of Conner Macnamara. The boys throw themselves into stylish, acrobatic routines, and the girls seem to bring those 1950s bobbysoxers back to life.

Rydell High School was the place to be back then, and the four Pink Ladies and their opposite numbers the T-Birds lead the way in the too-cool-for-school stakes.

There’s super-chilled Rizzo, leader of the girl gang and bored with everything (Francesca Fleming); jailbait Marty, into older men (Chloe Gibbions); dropout bimbo Frenchy (Lauren Speed); cuddly Jan (Laura Hewitt). Kenickie (Ben Featherstone), Sonny (Daniel Mason), Roger (Connor Stanmore) and Doody (Evan Mason) flit from girl to girl and go looking for trouble.

Enter virginal blonde Sandy (Lauren Brown), fresh from a summer romance with leader of the pack Danny (Zac Paling) and keen to fit in at her new school as she remains hopelessly devoted to him.

All the youngsters are as unconfident as she is under their cocksure front, but it all comes right in the end, even for the nerds, Eugene and Patty ( Niall Hopkinson and Shauna Kimberley; and even if Sandy does have to undergo a personality change to get there.

Inspirations sing, dance and bop-shoo-bop up a storm, and are putting it all across in fine style until Thursday, March 27, 2014.

LYNNE PATRICK