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Grease kicks off packed Autumn season at St Helens Theatre Royal

11 months ago

Grease kicks off packed Autumn season at St Helens Theatre Royal

Everyone’s favourite 50s musical Grease is kicking off a season that’s packed with musical legends at St Helens Theatre Royal.

The St Helens Theatre Royal’s own Dream Academy for young performers will be bringing the Pink Ladies and T-Birds of Rydell High to the stage over the next three days.

With all the songs from Summer Lovin’ to You’re the One That I Want, the show opens tonight and features actors aged from seven up to 18.

It’s the start of what’s going to be a feelgood few months full of musical productions, which includes some huge tribute artists recreating legends like Elton John, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Queen, ABBA and Stevie Wonder.

Grease - St Helens Theatre Royal
Credit: St Helens Theatre Royal

Theatre director Chantelle Nolan says the production of Grease is the culmination of months of rehearsals by a talented young cast. She said:

“Our in-house youth theatre puts on one big production every summer, and they work towards a review show in the winter. Grease is this year’s summer show and it’s fantastic, so we’re really really proud of them all.”

“It’s such a large-scale show for a youth group but that’s one of the things that makes our youth theatre group so special because they get to work with industry professionals and learn and perform on a real stage. They’re having the time of their lives and learning so many life skills, and it’s great for their confidence.

“These kids work so hard all year round, they come to class every Saturday morning, and they’re so committed. They’re from all different types of families, it’s really inclusive, and all the kids are together rather than being split into age groups. They look after each other and they do it because they just absolutely love it. 

“Some have been with us since the age of 7 and they’re leaving this year because they’re 18. We actually had a few shooting off on Thursday to get their A level results then coming straight back for rehearsals!”

Grease opens at 7pm tonight, and then there are matinee and evening performances on Saturday and Sunday.

It’ll be the first of a whole programme of fabulous hit-filled productions which are coming to the Theatre Royal.

Alongside plays like Helen Forrester’s By The Waters of Liverpool, which runs in October, and comedians including Sarah Millican and Adam Rowe, there are some of the UK’s leading tribute acts.

Chantelle says the tribute shows are always massively popular with theatregoers because of the incredible concert atmosphere they generate.

“Our theatre’s such an intimate space, it feels like sitting in your living room watching this fabulous show even though we’re a 700-seater.

“The quality of the productions that come, the sound systems and lighting rigs they bring in here and the costumes, it really is only one step down from the actual artist.

Grease - St Helens Theatre Royal

“For a lot of fans, this is the nearest they’ll get to seeing the real thing and it’s such a great experience. We allow people to bring their drinks into the theatre auditorium and the nights are a ball, everyone’s up dancing, it’s fantastic.”

After being closed for so long around the pandemic, Chantelle says the whole team at the Theatre Royal is thrilled to see full houses again.

“Our autumn programme is chocker block – we’ve been inundated with promoters and producers who want to bring their shows to us, and we want to have them.

“We own the theatre now, so for Regal Entertainments this is like our own home, we care that much about it. Over Covid, with nobody in here, it was horrible, but now we’re doing really well again and we’re just so happy and thankful that people have come back.”

Find out more about the St Helens Theatre Royal Autumn Programme on their website.

Find all the latest Liverpool Theatre news here.

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