Skater Robin slips into Grease at the Mayflower, Southampton

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Grease is the word - and has been for years. Following its electrifyin’ four-year West End run, the show is at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre from July 5-16.

Skating legend Robin Cousins swaps the ice rink for the stage when he joins the cast to guest star as Teen Angel.

It’s just eight minutes, but Robin, who’s lived in Brighton for the past 15 and a half years, knows they are minutes that have got to make an impact.

He’s conjured by the show’s beauty-school drop-out when she wishes for a guardian angel. and Robin - former Olympic Champion and Dancing on Ice judge - knows he’s got to make his mark.

So there’s no switching off.

“It’s wonderful. It would be lovely to be more involved with the show, but this is great too.”

Robin joined the show in London last year and is now back with it on tour: “I suppose it’s a bit like Rocky Horror in a way. It has got fans that know every word of the film and know every word of whatever stage version they are watching. It’s just something about the music as well. It is original, but it sounds so derivative of the music of the time.

“It’s just a great night out and people really seem to love it. Live entertainment is great and straight plays are great, but people really respond to Grease.”

And it’s a piece with a fascinating back story, as Robin points out, originally playing in opposition to West Side Story, originally about Polish people trying to move into Chicago where the musical first played, with just four songs in it.

“It was as it was playing in that incarnation in an open run that more songs were added to it and the show was expanded.”

When the offer came through to take to it a higher profile, the show became more PC and closer to the version which became the film.

Joining Robin in the cast are Danny Bayne as Danny and Carina Gillespie as his sweetheart Sandy.

Robin retired from the ice rink in 2000, after 30 years on the ice and 20 years of professional skating. During his highly successful career, Robin won the World Free Skating Championship Gold medal three times (78, 79, 80) and rose to the top in 1980, winning World Championship Silver and capping his amateur career with the European Championship and Olympic Gold medals.

Tickets on 02380 711811.