Revisit Grease with new production at Kenneth More Theatre

The cast of Grease have had just eight weeks to prepare for next week's production.

The cast of Grease have had just eight weeks to prepare for next week's production. - Credit: Archant

Comb your hair, grab your leather jacket and find yourself a date for an “ultramatic” production of Grease at the Kenneth More Theatre next week.

It’s the first time in more than 20 years that the Ilford Operatic and Dramatic Society Youth have taken on the T-Birds and Pink Ladies, having first performed the stage version of the popular musical back in 1992.

Audiences are set to be reintroduced to Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsen, as well as the likes of Kenickie, Putzie and Frenchy.

Perhaps more familiar than the characters made famous by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John are the songs that propelled the 1978 film on to the West End stage.

The borough’s youngsters will belt out hits Summer Nights, Born To Hand Jive and Greased Lightin’ during a three-day run at the theatre, in Oakfield Road.

Director Jeremy Smith said the group, who celebrated their 21st birthday last year, had always wanted to return to Rydell High School – but were thwarted by the show’s popularity.

He said: “It’s always been on our list to do again, but it was very popular in the West End and it was constantly on tour so it was hard to get the rights.

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“We have had a very short rehearsal period, and have got the show ready in about eight weeks, so it’s been pretty full on.”

Tickets are selling well – a theme for most productions since panto season at the Kenneth More.

Theatres across the nation have struggled to sell tickets since the economic crash in 2008, but Jeremy believes Ilford’s landmark theatre could be on the up.

“I have been going to the Kenneth More since the 1970s, and it’s a great asset to the community,” he said.

“The good news is that we have practically sold out and the shows since the panto have had a really good reaction.

“It’s a wonderful place for people to perform, and it’s run by professional staff which means amateur companies can put on really great shows.”

n Tickets are selling fast for Grease, which runs from March 6 to Saturday, March 8. To book yours, call the box office on 020 8553 4466 or visit