Go Grease Lightening!

Get Your Wigle On Present

Grease

Theatre Severn30th May-2nd June

(Matinee 2.30pm 31st May & 2nd June)

A packed theatre waited to see if the extremely talented and much in demand Get You Wigle On Theatre Company, were as good with Grease as they have been with other classics in the past. The news was good they were not waiting in vain. This is a brilliantly produced, directed and performed show and delivers on every level.

You may have been aware of Get Your Wigle On for many years now and watched them as year after year, they keep delighting their audience with great shows. This one is no exception.

With a cast of thousands, well about thirty multi-talented performers, who had the ability to fill a stage with presence and exuberance, this show had the potential of either working well or failing badly. GYWO know they can do this sort of show well and  they really do pull it off.

Although the cast is way too large to mention everyone it is essential that we discuss Ross Wigley just for the moment. He carried the full responsibility on his shoulders. Not only did Ross play Danny Zuko but he produced, directed and choreographed the piece, he also founded the company.

One must raise one’s titfer for a man with such skills: just one of those roles would be a massive undertaking, to complete all tasks and so expertly takes a very special theatrical brain which is exactly what Mr. Wigle has proved he has. This man has a golden career ahead and this reviewer strongly advises that if you able to see his work, then you simply should he is and will be for a long time yet, a total star.

Louise Browning as Rizzo was truly superb. She found the right level of everything. Her characterisation was spot on, her singing was utterly amazing and her movements were also so good and well rehearsed.

In fact there was an air of hard work about this show, whilst it must be fun for the cast it is apparent that they really have put the hours in to bring this show not just up to scratch but further than that with shiny brass knobs on. It is the polish in a performance that ensures the show shines through, this show does just that.

As for poor old Sandra D played by Millie Shaw, she was just as lovely as any Sandra D’s that have come across this reviewer’s path. Sandra is a character of two halves. One sweet and innocent and one good girl turns bad. Again she found exactly the right level. Not too sweet and innocent as to make you heave and not too naughty that you lost feeling for her. She was loved all the way through and Millie rather like Ross and Louise will be around for many years to come and it is essential they should keep on doing what it is they do because they work so well.

The set was a clever bit of kit again opening out into one scene then closed for another then opened again but to present a different scene. Very clever design and deceptively simple. However not a bit of it. The stage gets very full at times and it was important for the set designer not to go wild and fill the stage with a wondrous design that steals the entire space. This could be folded into itself in such a way that when space was needed it was there. One believes the best thing that one can fill a stage with is people! They are after all the talent and they should have room to do their thing. These are considerations that the set designer has to work with if the entire project is to be a success.

A successful show is truly like an iceberg, one only ever sees a third of what’s really going on. The rest is hidden; it is when you spot the hidden things that the show won’t work maybe as well as it should.

If one was to raise a noticed error, it would be the use of a mini-scooter to get a character off stage a little quicker. One is aware it was done for laughs and it got a few but it was an avoidable anachronistic mistake bearing in mind the Mini Scooter didn’t really appear until the late Nineteen-Nineties to the Twenty-Naughty’s. One wonders if it was worth it to raise a single laugh. Nothing else was anachronistic hence the scooter stuck out and could be dispensed with.

Lighting was great, creating mood and drawing attention, the follow spot operatives had their work cut out but they coped admirably as did the sound team. All of them were technically excellent.

The orchestra although never seen, are playing away throughout the show and they deserve a big,  big portion of the applause that rang out above the cheering at the curtain call. They were brilliant. Pianist Matthew Hall conducted them supremely. They are an extremely competent and talented ensemble of musicians.

One always tries to pick out future stars in the crowd scenes, one looks for who is doing it and who does one believe. The truth is in this show the company are so good. Not one foot out of place not one missed song cue nothing, just their excellence. Everyone on that stage has a right to be there and has a job to do when they are there. This company passed muster with flying colours.

All in all this is a great family show. Kids love it: Mums and Dads love it and get nostalgic for the Seventies, the Grandmas and Grandads  love it as it is set in the Nineteen Fifties; everyone gets something, tremendous. That is why the audience went home happy. In the foyer the buzz was good, rather like an exit poll on election night one learns a lot from the people as they leave. The feeling was that this is a great show and everyone was going home happy.

The Wiglers have a hit on their hands. As it plays all week one might strongly suggest you get along and see it it’s a great fun show.

This is a Four Star Review.

Owen J.Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet. Follow hos blogspot at https://owenscribblerlewis.blogspot.com

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