In a thrilling return to the Dominion Theatre, Olivia Moore reprises the role of Sandy in the beloved musical Grease. Having previously wowed audiences with her performance when the show played last year, Olivia brings a renewed energy and excitement to the stage. In an exclusive interview, she shares her journey in the industry, the joy of reprising her role, and the unique aspects of this production.
Olivia Moore is enthusiastic as she reflects on her career path. With a lifelong passion for performing arts, her journey began at the tender age of three when she started ballet classes. As she grew older, her love for theatre blossomed, and she discovered that it could be more than just a hobby.
“I’ve always kind of done dancing, even as a young child”, explains Olivia, “once my understanding of how I could do it as a job grew, I then wanted to take it more seriously,” Olivia reflects on her early experiences in the performing arts. “I studied musical theatre at college, and then that’s when I kind of really wanted to take the plunge and audition for drama schools.”
After drama school, Olivia’s career took off with notable roles in productions like Heathers and Waitress. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to the theatre industry. Despite the setbacks, Olivia remained creative and engaged, exploring new ways to reach audiences from their homes.
“During the pandemic, I did some really exciting things to keep creative, which was really fun because we had so much time,” Olivia shares. “We had so much time to play around and be really creative, and think of new ideas on how we could reach audiences in their homes?”
Returning to the Dominion Theatre as Sandy in Grease, Olivia’s excitement is palpable. She describes the moment she found out she had booked the role the first time round as surreal, having experienced a lull in her career due to the pandemic. It was a relief and a joy to receive that call, reigniting her confidence and drive.
“I had another job during the Pandemic, which was completely nothing to do with theatre, and I was actually on a conference call when my agent called me,” Olivia recalls with excitement. “I just remember I couldn’t believe that I booked a job, and an incredible job… I was very, very excited.”
Reprising a role made famous by the iconic Olivia Newton-John, Olivia Moore understands the weight of portraying Sandy. She acknowledges the immense impact Newton-John had on the role and how her passing affected her. Olivia felt a sense of pressure to do justice to the iconic character and the beloved songs associated with Sandy.
“It was such a shock when we found out that she had passed away; it was during the interval and straight after that I come on to sing ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’, so it was a really unique situation to juggle,” Olivia reflects. “I immediately felt an immense pressure because I wanted to do the song justice… I needed to do it well, it felt like I had some weird form of connection with her that night.”
This production of Grease stands out as a newer interpretation, bringing a grittier edge to the iconic story. Olivia talks about the importance of challenging traditions and stereotypes, as the production features same-sex couples, empowers women, and embraces diversity within the cast.
“We wanted to obviously honour the iconic movie, but we did feel it was really important to bring this musical back and to challenge traditions and stereotypes,” Olivia explains. “We’ve made important changes and changes that I am so proud that we’ve made.”
Working alongside fellow cast members, including Dan Partridge, Louise Redknapp, Jason Donovan, and Peter Andre, Olivia highlights the joy of collaboration.
“I think because we had done it before, we kind of knew each other’s boundaries, we knew how each other liked to work,” Olivia shares about working with Dan Partridge, who plays Danny. “So we were able to have really kind of progressive conversations that were really productive… That was really, really helpful.”
Olivia shares her favourite moments in the show. From the camaraderie of performing ‘Summer Nights’ with her fellow cast members to the empowering feeling of singing ‘You’re the One That I Want,’ each moment holds its own significance.
“I really do enjoy doing ‘Summer Nights’ just because I’m around all my girls. It’s really fun… I definitely also enjoy ‘You’re the One That I Want,’ that’s really great because that one I feel really empowered when I sing.”
Olivia wants as many people as possible to experience Grease this summer, promising an unforgettable night filled with fun and excitement.
“It is so much fun. All the iconic, amazing songs are in it. There are amazing dance routines. The set’s incredible. You’re guaranteed to have an amazing night.”