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Thursday, 28 August 2014

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Sing-along fun proves fans are hopelessly devoted to Grease

Grease was definitely the word at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake last Friday night.

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Leather jackets, 50s skirts, pink hair and neck ties filled the theatre’s main hall for Sing-a-long-a Grease.

The concept of the event was simple – show the film Grease on a big screen along with the words to the songs so that everyone can sing along.

But when you add in costumes, props and a very enthusiastic compere the result was a night filled with fun and laughter.

With at least half of the audience dressed up in their Grease-themed finest, the atmosphere was brilliant even before the show started.

Alison Lamont, 49, and Elaine Gaskill, 38, both of Latrigg Close, Keswick, went along with a group of 14 friends.

Elaine said: “I am looking forward to a good sing-along.”

Alison added: “I remember when Grease was released and I have absolutely loved it ever since.”

Jackie and Phil Huggon, of Market Street, Keswick, went with daughter Sophie, 13, and son Oliver, 10.

Jackie, who was head-to-toe in pink as Pink Lady Frenchy, said: “I have been to see the Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music and it was fantastic so I said we had to go to Grease.

“We have watched it three times now to learn all the words and rooted through the charity shops for our costumes.”

Sophie, looking like a miniature version of Grease heroine Sandy in her leather jacket and black leggings, added: “I am looking forward to the final scene at the fairground the most.”

The event proved a popular choice for those celebrating birthdays and hen nights, as an alternative to a night on the town.

Debbie Barrett, of Ashfield, Workington, went to celebrate her 40th birthday with three friends and they all looked the part dressed as the Pink Ladies.

When asked why she decided to go along to celebrate her birthday, Debbie said simply: “It’s Grease, say no more.”

Another set of pink ladies were Lindsey Carter, of Stainburn, Workington, and her sister Lesley Hull, of Park Lane, Workington.

Lindsey said: “Lesley picked this to celebrate my 40th because I have never seen it all the way through.”

Lesley said: “Grease is special, it is a one-off. It is just so magical.”

As people took to their seats it was time to really get into the spirit of things with a charismatic compere taking the audience through some songs and a few dance moves to get warmed up.

Those who had made the extra effort with costumes were given their chance to shine in a fancy dress competition on stage, and those brave enough to get up earned a big cheer from the crowd.

A hush descended on the audience as the opening scene, those big waves crashing on to a beach, filled the screen.

They weren’t quiet for long though, and the opening notes of Grease Is The Word had everyone up on their feet, singing and clapping along.

The songs came thick and fast and the audience sang along to every one.

Tissues were waved in the air for Sandy’s heartfelt love song Hopelessly Devoted to You, and brown paper bags were put on heads to become part of the chorus of the frank and forthright Beauty School Dropout.

The lead male and heart-throb of the film, Danny Zuko, got cheers and wolf-whistles throughout while the appearance of the aptly-named Crater Face, of rival gang the Scorpios, was greeted with boos and hisses.

Dance moves that have been repeated thousands of times at weddings, birthdays and office parties were dusted off for Greased Lighting and Summer Nights, and the audience even attempted to keep up with the Hand Jive, although many gave up half way through.

Everyone had their flags in the air for the drag race scene and cheered as Danny emerged the hero.

The crowd cheered as a newly transformed Sandy walked on for the final scene, and party poppers were pulled as the final song, You’re the One That I Want, began. Everyone got to their feet once more.

Even as Sandy and Danny flew off into the sunset the crowd’s energy did not waver and they stayed on their feet, clapping and dancing until the very end.

No one could possibly have left that theatre without a big smile on their face.

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