Basingstoke Amateur Theatrical Society | BATS | Amateur Musical Theatre Productions | Basingstoke, United Kingdom

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Grease review, Nov 2015 - Basingstoke Gazette

Fresh young faces breathe life into this iconic show - Grease

There is a lot of new blood in this BATS show, all of it breathing life into one of the most iconic and popular musicals of all time.

And it’s a more complete Grease than you’ll have seen locally before; all of the original songs are now included in the amateur licence, meaning BATS are performing Grease is the Word, Hopelessly Devoted to You, Sandy and You’re The One That I Want live for the first time on the Haymarket stage.

Angus Jacobs performs the dual role of director and choreographer, joined by Julie Dance as musical director.

On the stage are lots of fresh faces as a younger core BATS cast steps up, appropriately, to perform this tale of high school love and the learning curve of the teenage years.

Sweet and plaintive Rhianon Mone nails her Australian accent as Sandy, opposite a winning Craig Saunders as clueless Danny, and they are ably supported by a gang of sassy Pink Ladies and lovably silly T-Birds.

There’s much to applaud, including Chloe Ballard’s terrific work as Rizzo – she knocks the character’s main numbers There Are Worse Things I Could Do and Sandra Dee out of the park – and Gary J. Myers’ sterling work in drag as headmistress Miss Lynch, sneaking a tipple at the hand jive competition.

Elsewhere, a supremely capable Millie Stringer impresses as Marty, wonderful Joe Humberstone (oh, that voice!) channels Elvis - the front of stage space is explained when out rolls the complete Greased Lightning car - and Ciara Smallbone adds the necessary va-va-voom to the role of Cha-Cha.

Liam Brelsforth and Jade Hollingshead are simply outstanding as adorable compulsive eaters Roger and Jan. Their Mooning number is top class entertainment.

The whole show is tons of fun, with lots of laughs coming courtesy of poor old Eugene (Shaun Blake) and many well choreographed little moments throughout.

Come the reprise at the conclusion, audiences will be singing along with the cast, utterly nostalgic for the time they spent hanging around with their friends when they were younger. Such is the power of BATS’ Grease!

Joanne Mace