Dan Partridge will be reprising the role of Danny in the first new production in 25 years of Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey’s iconic musical Grease.
Having played the role on the UK and Ireland tour in 2019, Dan will be joined by Georgia Louise as Sandy, with Paul French as Kenickie and Tendai Rinomhota as Rizzo. They are joined by Alex Christian as Doody, Josh Barnett as Roger, Inez Budd as Marty, Maeve Byrne as Jan, Marianna Neofitou as Frenchy, Corinna Powlesland as Miss Lynch and Cristian Zaccarini as Sonny.
Grease was due to tour in 2020 but had to be postponed due to COVID-19. Directed by Nikolai Foster and choreographed by Arlene Phillips, the 2021 tour will now begin at Curve, Leicester from 30 – 31 July. Full tour dates and tickets can be found here.
You’re heading back out on tour with Grease, what can you tell us about this new production of a classic musical?
It is a brand-new version of the show, and there are a lot of new things up our sleeves, a lot of which come from the very original version that was on Broadway before it became the film. It’s a much grittier version of the story with some extra scenes and a couple of extra songs as well.
There are lots of new things to come and see but also all of the popular things like Greased Lightnin’ and all the classics are still in the show so you definitely have to come by and check it out.
How does it feel to be returning to the iconic role of Danny Zuko?
It’s the most exciting thing ever, it’s kind of my dream role, so to originally do it was absolutely brilliant and I’m super, super excited to do it again with a brand new cast, which is nice because it doesn’t feel at all like I’m doing the same thing again.
It’s a really exciting production to be a part of. We’re a few days into rehearsal now and I can assure you that you have to come and see these guys because it’s going to be brilliant, there’s an amazing chemistry between all of us.
Have you been able to put your own stamp on the character?
I have absolutely been able to put my own stamp on the character. It’s obviously quite hard because there’s such a well-known association with the look of the character and what it has been in the past, and obviously John Travolta’s classic, iconic representation of what the role was, but I have to do my own thing.
It’s something I’ve been fine tuning for the past few years and I’ve been working closely with the director, Nikolai Foster, and our associate director Dale White. It’s been brilliant to explore and really find out who these characters are and not just create something at surface level but a very 3-dimensional character. It’s been very fun to do that.
You’ve been involved in some of the biggest musicals around, what is it about Grease that really excites you?
I think what excites me about Grease is that it’s something that has always been a part of my life. It’s one of the first musical films that I, and I’m sure many other people, had ever seen. It’s something that I’m really passionate about and having dug a bit deeper and done lots of research into the time, this production of Grease is not just the pink wig for Frenchie and the leather jackets, there’s a hell of a lot more to it than that. We’ve got lots going on and I’m really excited to get the audiences back in.
How have rehearsals been going, have you had to change the way you rehearse because of the current situation?
With the rehearsals we have had to change a few things. There’s social distancing and we wear masks whilst we’re in the rehearsal room, which is something we’ve legally had to abide by but it’s not been too much of an issue.
We’ve still been able to learn all the music and it hasn’t seemed to have halted the process too much. We’ve just been popping masks on when we need to and following all the rules, it’s been going pretty smoothly.
What are you most looking forward to about being out on tour?
As I said before, I’m super excited to be out again doing a show around the country. One of my favourite things about touring is that every new place has its own identity and own kind of audience. Also, being in a new venue and keeping it fresh every week – you never get the same show twice and that’s the absolute magic of live theatre.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Grease?
I would say have a good time, enjoy the show, enjoy all our new changes and we hope to see you on the road again!
Grease starring Dan Partridge as Danny Zuko opens at Leicester Curve on 30th July 2021, full dates and tickets can be found here.