Grease – Leeds Grand

THIS EXCELLENT new production of classic rock ‘n’ roll musical Grease could also be seen as one of the oldest.

Songs from the original, very different, 1971 version have been reinstated to sit alongside the wonderful songs from the stage and film versions we know and love.

The setting has moved back to the original Chicago from the sun-kissed California of the movie, and there’s a shovel full of grit as an antidote to the later versions’ rose-tinted view of 1950s teenagers.

But never fear, fans, everything you remember and adore about Grease is still present and correct – the toe-tapping songs, the lovable characters, the snappy dialogue, the sheer vitality – and the tinkering by acclaimed director Nikolai Foster and choreographer Arlene Phillips is simply a bonus.

It’s a new term at Rydell High and the guys and girls are both trying to be cool: and summertime sweethearts Sandy and Danny find romance is a lot harder when you’re back in your clique than when you’re alone together at the beach.

These two are the main couple -- Martha Kirby especially feisty as Sandy - but there are other couples also going through teenage tribulations in a musical that’s more of an ensemble piece than the movie.

And while some stage productions following the 1976 screen classic almost made fun of the show, not sure how to handle the source material, Foster’s production is confident, muscular and believable, making the most of both the drama and the comedy.

• Until July 20. Visit or call 0844 848 2700 to book tickets.

David Knights