Grease:- Alhambra Theatre Dunfermline

If there is there anyone in the world who in unaware of this musical and film then I don’t know where they have been for the last 40 years. Grease had its Broadway debut in 1972, yes really, and there have been hundreds of productions world wide so when the touring production rolled into Dunfermline this week it was hardly surprising that once again the crowds were lining up in droves.

The show, created by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey is set in Rydell High School it the late 50’s, where hormone fuelled school kids sing and dance their way through the whole gambit of well known and loved classics such as ‘The One that I Want’, ‘Summer Nights’, ‘Beauty School Dropout’ and ‘Greased Lightning’ to name just a few as Danny Zuko, Danny Bayne, tries to woo Sandy, Carina Gillespie in spite of his still wanting to be cool. These two principals are ably supported by a whole talented ensemble, all of which can light up any performance with the sparkling talent on offer and with Rhydian Roberts making the very most of his cameo role as Teen Angel camping it up to the ultimate it is impossible to leave the theatre without a smile on your face. The production is slick and well staged, oozes class from the principals through the ensemble and the excellent band lays down a solid base for all the well known songs and dance.

It is always heartening to me to see such a wide age group of people attending these productions, from 6 to 86 or more I reckon on Friday’s early show, and I’ve no doubt that this popularity will endure for many years to come.

There are a couple of last chances for you to catch this show in Dunfermline tonight see www.alhambradunfermline.com for details or the next ports of call for Grease www.greasethemusical.co.uk is the place to be.

Reviewed by Geoff

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Jason Byrne – People’s Puppeteer Tour

I can’t be exactly sure the first time I saw Jason Byrne on stage. I do remember it was waaaay back in the late 90’s when he was first beginning to make waves on the comedy scene and immediately tuned into his unique style and like many thousands of people have been hooked ever since.

Byrne has appeared numerous times on TV and radio and although he is always good I feel he is in his absolute best medium performing live on stage in front of an army of his enthusiasts.

So having done his usual stint in the Edinburgh Fringe Byrne is now beginning a massive tour of his latest foray into the comedy world with The People’s Puppeteer, and this rolled into Dunfermline’s Alhambra Theatre on 7 September.

Now I know he does have prepared material, and more than enough of it, but whenever I have seen him perform over the last decade and a bit he gives the impression of being as interested in riffing with the crowd getting gems and running with them, a skill he has in abundance. He also does tend to wander of the topic occasionally, but its part of his appeal and charm.

I guess the success of a gig is the amount of laugh out loud reactions he generates during his set, and if we were talking value for money measured this way he would be way up there, but for me although his is important, it is only part of the package. Byrne crafts his set well, interspersing wickedly observed stories with occasional childlike moments of nonsense to. Byre may have reached the age of 40 but there is still an impish little Irish boy in there and occasionally he gets out.

Audience interaction is essential too; more often than not several find themselves sharing a stage for few minutes with this comedy, maestro as they become part of the show. But still they come and it is usually a fight to get near the front.

Jason, as usual, delivered on every level during the mammoth gig, his set material as usual wide ranging and funny, his riffing top draw and the moments of silliness delicious. He is in control, well generally, ably manipulating everyone to his own ends, and those are really to have a great time. He truly is a People’s Puppeteer.

To find out if he is coming to a town near you check out www.jasonbyrne.ie  and for many other top shows in Dunfermline www.alhambradunfermline.com is the place to be.

Reviewed by Geoff