Peter Andre get his wings as Grease returns to Edinburgh
Nineties heart-throb Peter Andre is unlikely to find himself stranded at the drive-in next month when the first new production of Grease in 25 years becomes the first big musical to grace the Festival Theatre since lockdown.
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Originally due to tour in 2020, Grease had to be postponed due to COVID-19. Directed by Nikolai Foster and choreographed by the legendary Arlene Phillips, the production brings Peter Andre back to Edinburgh as Teen Angel, a part he first played in 2019, and Vince Fontaine, roles played in the blockbuster 1978 movie by Frankie Avalon and Edd Byrnes respectively .
“I had the most wonderful time on the last tour, working with our incredible cast and creative team. I can’t wait to get back out there performing with them,” says the 48-year-old singer turned actor.
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"Grease is joyous and will truly allow you to escape to a different time, with show-stopping dance routines and some of the most iconic songs of all time. It's a show about solidarity and it celebrates friendship, which is even more important now with how the last 12 months have been. As the song goes, We Go Together."
And Andre reveals, he may even have a third character to play in the show, he laughs, “I may even be doing a third role, namely a police officer, depending on whether or not I can get changed on time. The more characters the better for me. Each one of them has a different accent, so I get to do different dialects, and it’s good to be acting as well as singing.
"With Vince Fontaine and Teen Angel it’s very quick change but I love the energy of that. There’s just one song, which I’m not in, during which I have time to get out of one outfit and into a completely different one, with the wig and everything. But it’s really good fun.”
Andre will be joined in the production by Dan Partridge, who reprises the role of Danny, and Georgia Louise as Sandy, with Paul French as Kenickie and Tendai Rinomhota as Rizzo. Also in the cast are Alex Christian as Doody, Josh Barnett as Roger, Inez Budd as Marty, Maeve Byrne as Jan, Marianna Neofitou as Frenchy, Corinna Powlesland as Miss Lynch and Cristian Zaccarini as Sonny.The company is completed by Alishia-Marie Blake, Thea Bunting, Kevin O’Dwyer, Laura-Jane Fenney, Jacob Fisher, Elliot Gooch, Dom Hutcheson, Haroun al Jeddal, Kalisha Johnson, Hannah-Faith Marram, Matt Trevorrow and Jacob Young.
Grease premiered in Chicago in 1971, followed by a move to Broadway in 1972, where it received seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. During the show's eight-year run, at the time, little known actors including Patrick Swayze and John Travolta appeared in the production, with Richard Gere understudying many roles before going on to star as Danny Zuko in the 1973 London premiere.
We might be in Autumn now, but with some of the best loved songs in musical theatre, favourites such as Summer Nights, Greased Lightnin’ and Hopelessly Devoted To You, it seems Grease is still the one that everybody wants. It’s time to head back to Rydell High.
Grease, Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, September 27-October 2, 7.30pm (Thursday & Saturday matinees 2.30pm), www.capitaltheatres.com