I had my first visit to the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin last night. Crazy really seeing as how I live in Dublin. I guess it's the age old thing of when great things are on your doorstep, it can take you a while to find them! I was really excited about going as I'd already heard the venue was brill, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. The theatre had all you would wish for, good layout, great sound, big crowd, comfy seating, cool lighting and a feeling of intimacy despite being able to accommodate such a large audience.
The reason for the visit was 'Grease The Musical', and having seen the film version of Grease a number of times before, I wasn't really sure what to expect from a live stage show. I'll start by saying it certainly was a good night's entertainment. Now having got that small, but important point out of the way, let's get down to the nitty gritty.
Firstly, at times it felt a bit more like a sing-along than a straight forward musical, which is fine and understandable seeing as how many of us know the numbers so well. However,the opportunity to put real emphasis into dramatic performances might have been missed a little overall. It is always difficult dealing with such an iconic music score, but when Rizzo, played by Kate Somerset, sang and performed, you knew right there and then, how the combination of great singing and drama can really electrify the stage. Actually from the moment Kate Somerset appeared, she owned the stage, and was magnificent right to the end.
Mary Byrne had her guest spot, and received brilliant audience support,(we do love our own) and she certainly belted out her number well. Just to note here, the costumes for the High School Dropout number were simply magnificent, and overall the costume design was another star of the show.
Danny Bayne who played Danny was also engaging, although I was surprised the role was turned into more comic caricature than the straight rawness which John Travolta used in the movie. I found this entertaining to begin with, but I did tire of the humour near the end. There were some great performances on the night, and certainly terrific energy went into the production. Overall I would say it worked, and certainly the audience got well rewarded for attending. Carina Gillespie who plays Sandy had a great voice, but never engaged me emotionally, although I am not completely sure why.
Overall the cast gave their all, they worked hard and well together, so deffo go see it, but undoubtedly, Kate Somerset (centre stage in above pic) stole the show for me!
And just to confirm the event did take place in Dublin, here are a couple of pics, plus one of the opening stage!