Grease is the word at the Darlington Hippodrome this week – and it turns out the two really do go together like ‘rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong’.

The hit musical, famously adapted into the iconic 1978 motion picture starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, is Darlington Operatic Society’s latest performance with the curtain, a bright pink tassely affair, coming up for the first time on Wednesday (April 19) night.

The Northern Echo: Grease is the word!Grease is the word! (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

As a big fan of the film, which will celebrate its 45th anniversary on June 16, who has never seen the stage version I was keen to head down to the Hippodrome for this latest musical.

Read more: Darlington Theatre says Grease is the word as hit musical comes to town

With 11 performances running from Wednesday April 19 to Saturday April 29 there’s plenty of time to catch the events of Rydell High.

Having never seen a Darlington Operatic Society performance before, if I hadn’t known beforehand that this was an amateur company I would never have guessed.

The Northern Echo: Danny and SandyDanny and Sandy (Image: SCOTT AKOZ)

The staging, set design, costumes, acting, musical numbers, singing and live orchestra were all superb.

Before the curtain arose the audience were kindly asked not to sing along and allow the company to show off their vocals – possibly a response to an incident in Manchester earlier this month where a performance of The Bodyguard ended early when two audience members were thrown out for singing during ‘I Will Always Love You’. It was hard not to sing along to such iconic numbers, but I somehow managed to restrain myself.

The Northern Echo: Go Grease Lightnight!Go Grease Lightnight! (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

The first act kicked into gear with ‘Grease is the Word’ before my personal favourite number, the iconic ‘Summer Nights’. The casting of Ben Connor as Danny and Abbie Dodsworth as Sandy worked a treat with Abbie’s incredible vocals wowing the audience.

There wasn’t a ropey vocal in sight with other standout solos including Jessica Harrison’s rendition, as Rizzo, of ‘There Are Worse Things I Could Do’. The entire cast had their moments to show off their talents and what must have been hundreds of hours of hard work to get the show to this polished stage.

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There were comical moments too including a fantastic performance of ‘Mooning’ by Roger and Jan, played by Andrew Hamilton and Lucy Adams.

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‘We Go Together’ brought the first act to a close before the cast returned to the stage for the school dance and ‘Born To Hand Jive’ contest.

The Northern Echo: Ben Connor as Danny and Abbie Dodsworth as Sandy Ben Connor as Danny and Abbie Dodsworth as Sandy (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

Of course, a musical wouldn’t be complete without some powerful solos and Sandy’s ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ and ‘Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee’ brought woops and cheers from the crowd.

After Sandy’s transformation the stage erupted with joy for ‘You’re The One That I Want’ and ‘We Go Together’. Not wanting to leave their audience disappointed after the first fall of the curtain the cast returned for a Grease mega-mix taking us back through the previous two hours of musical numbers.

The Northern Echo: Sandy telling Danny he's the one she wantsSandy telling Danny he's the one she wants (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

The company received a well-deserved standing ovation before the curtain fell for a final time.

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As I said before, having never seen a Darlington Operatic Society performance before, I was very impressed. All parts of the production screamed professional quality and proved that our part of the world is in no way short of creative talent.

Grease plays at the Darlington Hippodrome until Saturday April 29.

Tickets can be booked online here or by calling 01325 244 659.