If you were one of the lucky ones to get a ticket to this year’s Summer Youth Project performance of ‘Grease’ you would have witnessed possibly the best performances of any since the project kicked off in 1994 with Bugsy Malone, and my all time favourite since watching the 2008 version of Oliver!.
After opening with a bang this year’s project seemed to belong to the support cast rather than the main characters with some amazing choreography filling the whole auditorium throughout the first half of the performance.
Of the main cast Phoebe Moss (Sandy) clearly carried the vocal skills whereas the T-Birds seemed to be picked for their dancing ability over their singing.
Grease Lightning took place mid way through the first half and the uncovering of the car went relatively un-noticed as attention was drawn to the amazing vocals bellowing out of the support lining up alongside the Stalls.
The second half of the show kicked off and if you weren’t caught up in the ‘Hand Jive’ you were about to get caught up in the performance of the night that belonged to Swindon’s very own West End starlet, who will continue on to many bigger and better things such as her recent performances in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Scarlet Roche, returning to the Wyvern for her third Summer Youth Project clearly showing how grounded she is after she blew the audience away as the Teen Angel.
If I’m honest the remaining six numbers were a little bit of a blur as part of me was hoping to see the Teen Angel perform once more giving her all as she did for the few minutes she was in the limelight.
The set was perfectly managed throughout and left you feeling as if you were there back in 1978 with the T-Birds and Pink Ladies in their final year at Rydell High as they fooled and danced through school.
Nyree Kingsbury and the directors put every effort into making this stage version as popular as the film, and didn’t fail, with all the songs from the film included, such as ‘Summer Nights’, ‘Grease lightning’, ‘You’re The One That I Want’ and ‘We Go Together’ and my clear favourite ‘Beauty School Dropout’.
This performance really had the likeability factor, it took everything in me to stop me jumping up from my seat to do the hand jive before leaving me dumbstruck with a performance from a 14 year old that would leave many seasoned professionals in awe.
If you like energetic musicals that leave you with that feel good factor then this is the one that you’ll like, it’s a shame the remaining shows are sold out.
This show must have left every parent coming out of the Wyvern, proud as anything knowing their child had been part of such a professionally produced show and clearly enjoyed their ten days in the project.
The show is also a massive pat on the back to the Wyvern Foundation, without these guys helping our local talent achieve the goals they set out we may not get to speak the words ‘Swindon’s very own West End starlet’.
Amazing work, and hats off to everyone involved in this year’s project.
Oh yeah, remember the name Scarlet Roche, she is going to be a massive star!!