On Thursday night my friend and I were transported back to 1959 courtesy of Secret Cinema. Grease the Live Experience at the NEC provided a nostalgic, infectious and carnival atmosphere launching the senses into the set of the endearing film we all love.
Entering the outdoor set you are immediately transported to the scene of the late 50’s California’s High School . My friend and I had added a quiff to our hair and applied fire red lipstick, this was nothing compared to the maximum effort of most the audience: An abundance of gorgeous pink ladies, vintage late 50’s and several Danny’s added to the casts rather remarkable likeness of the main characters.
Post pandemic our desire for connection is not showing signs of waning. Secret Cinema provided and experience that was well organised and well executed.
The smell of hot diggity dogs invited us in to dine and most diets were well catered for. The drinks were flowing from the many appropriately themed food stands and drinks bars including the Autoshop themed bar where a singalong to Grease Lightening got the crowds moving.
The set included Rydall High’s Gym, inside you could watch the famous National Bandstand dance. If you wanted more rock n’ roll then head over to the Sports Field for epic hand jiving competition or a go a cheerleading.
For those wanting to relax and soak up the atmosphere and there was adequate seating in the form of picnic benches , and even some famous bleacher stands made famous in the opening song Summer Nights.
The carnival continued with a Big Wheel and a sprinkling few vintage fairground games.
The main event was obviously the movie itself. You are afforded and hour and a half to explore all the immersive experience and then one by one the astro turf sports field filled up with picnic blankets and Danny and Sandy appeared on screen. Underneath the screen on the stage of Rydell High the cast performers continued to act out with full gusto their roles enhancing the feast for the eyes.
Post pandemic our desire for connection is not showing signs of waning. Secret Cinema provided and experience that was well organised and well executed. The cast came onto the set like fireworks ensuring we all knew we were at Rydell High and the audience were there for a good fun night out and looking at the smiles on faces , I think most of them had fallen happily into the story of Grease, the musical that even the most musical phobic can’t help but love.
Words by Caroline Ward for Grapevine Birmingham