Bristol Hippodrome, until Saturday, April 7
By Kelly Jobanputra
It must be a performer’s worst nightmare when the opening night of the show they are in not only suffers with technical difficulties but also gets halted for a while due to some of the performers being hit by a “flying piece of art” on set.
This is what has happened during Grease at the Bristol Hippodrome and every one of the audience seems to feel sorry for the cast as they are faced with more problems than simply first night nerves.
It’s a packed house and the crowd seem to feed off the energy of the initial music, which comes from a live band that is situated at the top of the stage and towards the back.
But no sooner have the cast and atmosphere got everyone in the mood, there is a pause between scenes and then the news: “Due to an incident on stage, we have had to stop the show.” Confusion on everyone’s faces and a slight sense of panic is following this announcement.
In all fairness the show has resumed quickly, after just 11 minutes to be precise, and the audience have the explanation that some of the “ensemble boys” were hit by the “flying piece of art” and therefore had to be checked over. The show will go on without the lads in question.
It has to be said that despite a few extra technical problems with microphones, the performers are giving it their all during this Bristol show and the voice of Sandy, played by Carina Gillespie, is making people exclaim “she’s brilliant” and “what a voice” even before her songs are in full flow.
Favourite numbers, in terms of the powerful voice that projects it, seem to be ‘Hopelessly devoted to you’ by Carina and ‘There are worse things i could do’ which is sung by Rizzo (played by Kate Somerset How).
The part that gains the most amount of rapturous applause however, is that of the teen angel. This is performed by Bristol’s own Olympic skating star Robin Cousins MBE. As soon as he comes out to sing in his whiter than white suit, surrounded by his adoring angels, the crowd are letting out shrill screams and joyful shouts. He is loving it as well.
It isn’t just all about the voices with this show, the dance moves are just as engaging. Cha Cha, played by Sophie Zucchini, moves with such an ease-ridden grace during the Rydell High School dance that you would be hard pushed not to be jealous.
It must be frustrating for a cast and production when their usually polished West End performance is being occasionally halted and messed with by technical problems but these guys and gals on the stage are certainly giving the show a big amount of gusto.
They are still getting their applauses and laughs in the right places and by the time the show comes to an end, the audience look satisfied and sympathetic and also thoroughly entertained.