Sing-a-long-a Grease Announces 2012 UK Tour

Sing-a-long-a Grease today announces a nationwide UK tour in 2012, to mark the 40th anniversary of the original stage version.

You'd better shape up to sing along to the great movie musical, complete with on-screen lyrics and the chance to become a T-Bird or Pink Lady for the night.

It's the one that you want, say its producers, who previously brought us Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music and Sing-a-long-a Abba. "Sing-a-long-a Grease is the show that audiences have been asking for since we first presented a singalong show back in 1999", says producer Ben Freedman.
Now, at last, Summer Lovin', Grease Lightning and the chance to sport a pink wig or greased quiff while belting You're The One That I Want, are coming to a theatre near you.

The show's national tour starts in Swindon on 13 January, 2012. The 40th anniversary of the original stage show falls on Valentine's Day, when the tour hits Leicester. Other venues are now booking into July next year.

More tour dates are being added weekly but producers expect the show to visit over 80 theatres nationwide by the end of 2012.

Alongside the national tour, Sing-a-long-a will also play once a month at the Prince Charles Cinema in London's West End, the global headquarters of the whole Sing-a-long-a phenomenon.

"Sing-a-long-a Grease is much more than ‘just a film'", says Freedman. ""It's a show, an event, a fashion extravaganza and the most fun you can have with your clothes on."

Clothes, indeed, play a key role in the Sing-a-long-a experience. Punters don their own versions of the Fifties high-school garb worn at Rydell High - the powder-pink bomber jackets of the Pink Ladies and the black leather biker gear of Danny and the T-birds.

Every performance starts with a Sing-a-long-a host who warms up the audience, trains them how to "hand-jive", deploy the contents of their free goodie bags and heckle in all the right places.

40 Years Young

It was on February 14, 1972 that a new stage musical called Grease premiered at the Off-Broadway Eden Theatre in downtown Manhattan, before transferring to Broadway in June, 1972.

The 1972 show, about two lovers in 1950s US high school, was based on an earlier, grittier "play with incidental music" called Grease Lightning, first staged in Chicago the previous year. But it was not until February 1972 that Grease as we know it was born.

The 1972 musical spawned the 1978 movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The movie was a huge hit on its first release. Twenty-five years later it was voted the greatest musical ever in a 2003 poll conducted for Channel 4's show on the 100 Greatest Musicals.

The birth of Sing-a-long-a

The unique, interactive entertainment form known as Sing-a-long-a, meanwhile, was allegedly born in an old people's home in Inverness in the late 1990s. The nurses wanted to involve the residents in an interactive group therapy. They therefore wanted to screen Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and gave out song sheets so that everyone could sing-a-long.

The idea was then developed for the Sound of Music for London's Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in 1999, before opening at the Prince Charles Cinema in August of that year. After an initial eight-show run soon sold out, while attracting huge media attention and regular shows has been running ever since not only in London but all around the world.



The national tour starts Friday, 13 January at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon.
For the latest list of tour dates, visit:
• Suitability for children: Grease is a PG certificate film in the UK and is suitable for all. Children are very welcome, although evening performances can sometimes get a little lively and so may be more suitable for older children (plus the late finishing time may mean that younger ones get tired).
Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes including interval

Related Articles View More UK Regional Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You