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"Our apologies, ladies and gentlemen, due to technical difficulties tonight's performance will be delayed by a few minutes". For "a few minutes", read "half an hour". The Herald was not impressed.

I'd initially blamed will-he-won't-he Gay Byrne, the potential presidential candidate who swept into the foyer a mere five minutes before the scheduled start time and delivered a grandiose speech to waiting media. But it turned out, instead, something was amiss in the Grease machine.

Fuming, I decided that no matter how dazzling the performance, Grease was already on a slippery slope for keeping the audience waiting.

So perhaps the only real measure of the show's impact is the fact that after pettily deducting a star for tardiness, I went and added it on again. Where, dear reader, should I start? Perhaps I could begin by applauding the spot-on casting of Carina Gillespie as Sandy, who effects an amazing transition from shy goody-two-shoes to sexy siren via some show-stopping solos.

Or maybe I could pay tribute to the props team who outdid themselves with the glitzy Greased Lightning car, or the razor-sharp choreography.


But perhaps the best thing about this production is the fact that it brings the Grease story of innocent girl joins cool gang to keep her man to a whole new level. This is pure fairytale accentuated by the most contagious score in musical history. If you don't believe me, wait until you ChangChangChangittyChangShooWop your way out of the theatre.

Director David Gilmore has delivered something extra special here. A particular highlight is Doody's (Richard Vincent) rendition of Those Magic Changes. Another coup for the company is X Factor star Mary Byrne as Teen Angel. Her rendition of Beauty School Drop Out, with a majestically clothed chorus line, is high-octane showbiz at its best.

Full marks also to Danny Bayne for his interpretation of Danny Zuko. And Darren John has the audience eating out of his hand for his portrayal of the tormented geek Eugene.

When the entertainment is this good, what's a half-hour delay between friends? Tell everyone you know, Grease is the word. HHHHH