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Dumfries High Goes Wop Ba-ba Lu-mop & Wop Bam Boom/ The Who Review

The third and final production of Grease at Dumfries High School under the Musical Direction of retiring teacher Stewart Solley can only be classed as a resounding success, a veritable slice of the London West End brought to Dumfries.

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A packed school hall on the final night of the show, sitting on chairs that were uncomfortable over 20 years ago as a pupil so now they were REALLY uncomfortable and of course the heat of the day made the hall warmer than usual even before the stage lights were brought into play. None of this mattered though it all paled as soon as the open number struck.
With the hits from the film and stage musical the audience were foot tapping and singing throughout and each scene delayed due to the rapturous whooping and hollering the cast seemed unsure what had hit them.
The show itself was slick and pacey, the musical numbers were well rehearsed with great harmonies. Some of the solo performances from the principals blew the audience away with how strong vocally these school kids are. Erin Craighead’s performance as Sandy sent chills with her solo on Tears On My Pillow and the reprise of Look At Me I’m Sandra Dee and the attitude of Rizzo- Tanisha Hill would make Stockard Channing proud and what a rendition of There Are Worse Things I Could Do. Alexander Maxwell fresh off the Guid Nychburris stage as the first male to sing Queen of the South at the crowning channelled his inner Travolta to bring comedy and tenderness to the role. Greased Lightening (courtesy of DA Auotoparts) rocked with Olly Stephenson at the helm. The Teen Angel was handled in perfect croonership by High School Teacher Kevin Sharp, wow who knew he could sing (and get all his lines in the right order) The audience simply went wild for Dumfries’s very own Frankie Avalon.
The T-birds- Alexander, Olly, Alistair Murray, George Nairn and Charlie Porter and the Pink Ladies- Tanisha, Jacqueline Stewart, Siouxsie Robertson and Carolyn Michael all blended so well that they really could be a bunch of teenage reprobates in their final year at school.
Choreorgraphy for the show was handled by student and performer of Cha Cha Digregorio- Lucy Crawford which is a enormous undertaking for on so young. To mention everyone involved in the show would take and eternity but backstage, lights, makeup, sound and front of house you all excelled and made it an evening to remember.
A few special mentions have to happen, firstly to Stewart Solley the stalwart of 16 shows at the high school who retires this week, you will be sorely missed from the school as present and past students have stated how much of an impact you have made on their lives. Secondly to the 38 members of the previous high school performances of grease well done for showing your support in your old school and music teacher, even if the impromptu joining in of greased lightening could have been rehearsed better (me most of all).
Finally this show had something slightly different about it and that was its lights, it was lit like the Theatre Royal Drury Lane would be for a full West End performance, there was somewhere in the region of 360 lighting cues thanks to the vision of ex High school pupil and recent graduate of The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Ross Jardine, it was simply a lighting spectacular.
Well done to all involved, pat yourselves on the back and the memories will stay with you, mine have after 22 years.