Approved by ATG's PR & Communications Officer, David Bradbury
Britain’s best-loved astrologer and Strictly Come Dancing favourite Russell Grant will guest star in the smash hit musical Grease for its limited week run in Wimbledon. He will don the sparkly suit to play the role of Teen Angel and is set leave audiences hopelessly devoted to his charms when Grease rocks into the New Wimbledon Theatre from Monday 15 – Saturday 20 October 2012.
Following its electrifyin’ 4 year London run and for the first time in over 5 years, the hit West End show began a new tour last spring. Back by popular demand, Grease premiered at the Edinburgh Playhouse on 6 May 2011 and has since played venues throughout the UK and Ireland. Grease will continue to rock ‘n’ roll around the UK from 3 July and is currently booking until 29 December 2012.
Danny Bayne (winner of ITV’s Grease is the Word, Hairspray) stars as Danny with Carina Gillespie (Grease in the West End, Buddy) as his sweetheart Sandy, as the couple follow in the footsteps of John Travolta and Olivia Newton John who famously played the roles in the hit 1978 movie. The cast also includes: Kate Somerset How (Rizzo), David O’Reilly (Roger), Laura Wilson (Jan), Richard Vincent (Doody), Josh Dever (Sonny), Darren John (Eugene), Stuart Reid (Vince Fontaine) and joining the show from 3 July, Ross William Wild (Kenickie), Lauren Hood (Frenchy), Scarlett Davies (Marty), Charlotte Gooch (Patty), Emma Kingston (Miss Lynch) and Emily Hawgood (Cha Cha) with other parts played by the ensemble.
Russell Grant found international fame through becoming the Astrologer Royal but before this he had a successful acting career in theatre, television and film (TV’s On the Buses, Please Sir! and The Fenn Street Gang, Rodger and Hammerstein’s The King and I on tour, Tom Brown’s Schooldays in the West End, Hans Anderson at the London Palladium, Pantomimes in Cardiff, Guildford and Blackpool as the Dame, Paul Doust’s Probably Wanstead at the Brighton Festival, The Rocky Horror Show national tour and Under Milk Wood- for which he won critical acclaim as Director and Narrator). He recently captured the attention of the nation- as an unlikely contender- and fulfilled his professional dream of learning how to dance on BBC’s hit series Strictly Come Dancing (Autumn 2011). Returning to his theatrical roots, Russell has just completed a successful season as The Wizard in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium.
Danny Bayne won ITV’s Grease is the Word (2007) and went on to make his West End debut as Danny in Grease playing the role for over 2 years at the Piccadilly Theatre to sell-out audiences. His other theatre credits include: Top Cat the Musical, Snow White, On Show at the Royal Albert Hall and Popcorn. More recently he co-starred with Julian Clary in Cinderella at the Hawth Theatre Crawley and appeared as Corny Collins in the tour of the hit musical Hairspray. Danny also has a passion for both dance and choreography. Formerly a major world competitor, his dance credits include: British Champion in Freestyle, Hip Hop and ‘Rock ’n’ Roll’ and 3rd place in Latin American at the Italian World Championships. His choreographic credits include: Genie in the House (for Nickelodeon), West End Eurovision (Piccadilly Theatre) and several Hip Hop shows, carnivals and events.
Carina Gillespie trained at the Liverpool Theatre School and made her professional stage debut as Maria Elena in the hugely successful musical Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story. Her further theatre credits include the role of Linda in Bloodbath -The Musical, and Princess Tamara in Jack in the Beanstalk in Ipswich. Carina’s other credits include performing as a regular session singer for Love to Infinity Records, releasing a debut single (with the new pop-dance band Ezcapade, 2010), appearing as a support act for Basshunter (UK tour 2010) and as a dancer in numerous music videos. More recently Carina made her West End debut as Sandy in Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre.
Since breaking out on Broadway in 1972, Grease’s place has been firmly established in the cultural Hall of Fame, having seduced the hearts of millions with its back-to-back sizzling tunes. It’s the original high-school musical featuring everyone’s favourite characters - Sandy, Danny, the groovy T Birds, the sassy Pink Ladies and the whole gang at Rydell High - with all the unforgettable songs from the hit movie including You’re The One That I Want, Grease is the Word, Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted to You, Sandy, Greased Lightnin’ and many more.
Voted the No 1 Greatest Musical Grease has proved that a musical love story, bursting with denim, cheerleaders, slick hairstyles, rock ’n ’roll, 1950s pop culture and an irresistible mix of teenage angst and young romance is timeless and universal. Grease is the ultimate feel-good, pick-me up musical - an electrifyin’ extravaganza, packed with fun, energy and vibrant physicality. The show is guaranteed to thrill audiences and leave everyone hand-jiving the night away with 'a-wop-bop-a-loo-bop, a wop-bam-boom!'
Grease returned to the West End in July 2007 and during its triumphant run, the audience favourite played over 1,500 performances and was seen by over 1½ million theatregoers at the Piccadilly Theatre where it became the longest running show in the venue’s history- closing on 30 April 2011 after a hugely successful 4 years.
This production originally opened in the West End in 1993 (co-produced with Robert Stigwood) where it enjoyed a fantastic run of 6 years. The last international tour of Grease was a phenomenal success, playing to sell-out audiences and smashing records at many venues. Since 1993 the show has been seen by audiences totalling over 12 million people in the UK alone. In 2010, a second production played internationally in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Auckland and Hong Kong.
Written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, directed by David Gilmore (Daisy Pulls It Off, Happy Days, Song & Dance, Footloose) and choreographed by Arlene Phillips (Starlight Express, Saturday Night Fever, Flashdance The Musical & BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing), Grease is produced in the West End and on tour by Paul Nicholas and David Ian and is presented by arrangement with Robert Stigwood.