It’s just the most youthful show out there, says Danny Bayne who slips into those John Travolta shoes when Grease hits the stage at the Kings Theatre, Southsea (October 1-6).
“It takes people back to childhood, back to school and back to better days,” says Danny, for whom Grease has similarly been a huge part of his life.
Danny won ITV’s talent-search show Grease Is The Word, and all else has flowed from there.
“I was so lucky in that it kick-started my career. A lot of people frowned on that type of show back then, but since then you have had a lot of people jumping on the band waggon. The first show of that kind was Maria with Connie Fisher, and then we were the next year. But back then, it was very very frowned on in the business. Everyone in the business thought it was just a joke. But now it doesn’t seem so bad. It gave me the chance to go ahead. I was hoping that I might move on from there. I got Hairspray which I did for 15 months and really enjoyed and now I have come back to Grease.
“Hairspray was a huge call, but we had a great time with it. Grease is like bubblegum theatre really, but Hairspray had a real message about racial integration.”
Not that there is anything wrong with bubblegum theatre...
“Everyone loves the show. Grease is a classic story and the tunes are great and really catchy.”
Many people will come to it on the back of memories of the film, and Danny concedes that there are certain Travolta aspects to Danny that he has to stick to.
“But I always like to do it my own way. You have got to keep it fresh for yourself. Obviously you have got to keep the lines the same, but there are different ways of delivering them that you can explore. I like the change certain things, the rhythm, just the delivery.
“Obviously I am not Travolta. I don’t speak the same as him, don’t talk the same as him. I can’t put my finger on the differences, But obviously the role is all about being cool and youthful. If you don’t get that across to the audience, then they are not going to buy into him. He has got to be a lovable rogue!”
Tickets for the Kings on 023 9282 8282.