Grease is most certainly the last word in fun

Taking to the stage in the Millennium Forum for the smash hit West End show Grease, running from the 27th February until the 3rd of March, are Mary Byrne as 'Teen Angel', Danny Byrne as 'Danny', and Carina Gillespie as 'Sandy'. (0203PG20)

Taking to the stage in the Millennium Forum for the smash hit West End show Grease, running from the 27th February until the 3rd of March, are Mary Byrne as 'Teen Angel', Danny Byrne as 'Danny', and Carina Gillespie as 'Sandy'. (0203PG20)

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The original film may well have been released 34 years ago, but for generations of movie and music fans Grease remains one of those popular musicals of all time.

The story of Danny and Sandy, their bumpy love affair and the trials and tribulations of their friends is one that generations have grown up singing along with - and there is no doubt that Grease holds a special place in a lot of hearts.

This was clearly evident at the Millennium Forum on Monday night when, even before the first song had begun, the capacity crowd were cheering and clapping along in appreciate and anticipation.

Running until tomorrow night Grease: The Musical has come to Derry with all the professionalism, slick production values and impressive casting you would expect from a West End production.

The show burst into life with a lively overture - which had the crowd clapping, waving and dancing along and this immensely positive atmosphere did not dip once during the entire performance.

The crowd sang, laughed and danced along with each and every well known tune - from the opening strains of ‘Grease is the Word’ right through to the “chang changs” and “ramma lammas” of ‘We Go Together’.

It should be pointed out that the show does differ in quite a few places to the movie. There are songs which aren’t in the original film, songs which appear in a different order from what you would expect and changes to some key scenes.

The dance competition section, for example, is different and there is, for obvious production reasons, no drag racing. But all the other elements are there - and the cast performed each song with immense enthusiasm. The comedy came thick and fast, although those bringing children should remember some of the themes of the show are more adult in nature. (Most of this did however go directly over the head of my son and niece who accompanied me).

Personal highlights of the show for me included Kate Somerset How as Rizzo - particulary her rendition of ‘There are Worse Things I Could Do’ and Danny Bayne as the one and only Danny.

The loudest cheers of the night, however, were reserved for XFactor finalist Mary Byrne who gave a vocal powerhouse of a performance as Teen Angel.

Grease: The Musical is a show you should not miss - and it will leave you singing, smiling and uplifted.