Born to hand jive with Future Cinema & Grease
I have a confession to make…up until very recently I had never seen the movie Grease. I can feel you all judging me already, and quite frankly I don’t blame you.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the genre that made me avoid it, in fact I’m a massive fan of musicals, it’s just I spent my childhood obsessed with Oliver and admiring Annie instead, so I didn’t have time for Danny and Sandy too (whoever they were).
So after many years of seeing my friends give me dirty looks whenever I asked “What are Pink Ladies?” and “Where exactly is Rydell High School?”, I thought it was probably time to see the movie I’d heard so much about and yet still managed to avoid. But rather than watching it on DVD in the comfort of my own home, I decided to go along to Future Cinema’s showing of Grease instead.
The High Tea Cast have previously reviewed their Bugsy Malone screenings, so I already knew to expect a night that went above and beyond your normal trip to the cinema. However nothing could have prepared me for the sheer amount of effort Future Cinema put into transporting everyone to the 50s/60s/whenever it’s meant to be set.
I’ll admit I was initially worried as the only songs I knew came from the Grease Mega Mix, and I had no idea who any of the characters were . Plus there was a fancy dress policy, and I really hate fancy dress. Luckily none of this really mattered.
The whole evening took place in a field (think a festival but with less mud), where you could go to Frenchie’s for a photo shoot and watch the jocks play American Football, before grabbing some food at the diner and going to the dance. After watching the movie I realised I’d been in it the entire evening.
And it wasn’t just the large amount of props (and a full scale fairground complete with dodgems and a ferris wheel that I was too pansy to go on) that made the evening so jaw-droppingly amazing, the actors playing Rydell High students really got into it.
From the moment we got there, we were greeted by the Principal welcoming us back to the new school term. This soon descended into flirting with the T-Birds and talking to the Pink Ladies about what subjects we were taking, which boys we wanted to take us to the dance, and how much we were looking forward to cheerleader try-outs.
The movie got shown on a huge screen at the end of the field, but before it even started they were showing tweets and teaching us how to hand jive… which incidentally I sucked at as I never got past the first “mashed potato”.
Even when the film started, the actors didn’t stop working and several of the songs were re-enacted. Although their versions of Grease Lightening and Beauty School Dropout were brilliant, the stand-out performance that needs to be shared was Born to Hand Jive. This is a fairly complicated dance number, and yet two dancers copied it move for move on the stage with ridiculous amounts of ease… no words can describe how far my jaw dropped.
I’m happy to report I’ve caught Grease mania (it’s a bit like Bieber fever but much less twatish) and now wear my Pink Lady jacket to work. I’ve started applying to Rydell High and I do the hand jive on the tube.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go get ready for Frenchie’s sleepover.