It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 40 years since the film version of Grease, with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John as star-crossed lovers Danny and Sandy. The boy meets girl storyline sees the pair enjoying a romance over the summer holiday before being reunited unexpectedly at Rydell High School. At school, Danny is leader of the T-Birds, the epitomy of cool, while the quieter Sandy struggles to keep up with the Pink Ladies, the trendy girls about town.

Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey wrote Grease as a homage to the music of the 1950s and the show’s energetic celebration of youth has universal appeal. It gives older audience members a chance to relive their youth – like the lady sitting next to me who was chuckling and reminiscing to her husband throughout – and the younger generation respond to the energy and fun of the piece.

It’s a feel-good show which is like a snapshot of what it was like to be a teenager in the 1950s during the period of rock ‘n’ roll and putting ‘grease’ on your hair. The latest tour is headed by Tom Parker from the Wanted as Danny, and Danielle Hope as Sandy. Hope is the only one of the four billed leads to be able to act through song and give proper characterisation to the role. Having won the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in a TV competition some years ago, Hope’s musical theatre career has gone from strength to strength ever since. Solo numbers were particularly strong – especially the iconic ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’, but the transformation from straight-laced Sandra Dee to a sexy vamp needed more of a build-up.

It must be difficult for Hope to play opposite such a weak actor as Parker as Danny Zuko. Parker is out of his depth in a stage musical and is only really comfortable in the heavier pop numbers, such as ‘Summer Nights’, with other members of the company. His ‘characterisation’ was entirely based on a version of a New York accent that was virtually incomprehensible, and the character’s ‘strut’. Parker looked uncomfortable during the more intimate and revealing solo number 'Sandy' at the drive-in and has been miscast in an attempt to bring a 'name' to the piece – it would have been better with a more experienced musical theatre actor.

However, the show receives an unexpected lift in the form of Jimmy Osmond. Apparently the first of his family to win a gold disc – at 5 years old! – Osmond features as Teen Angel for the 'Beauty School Dropout' number in the second half. Osmond makes a high camp entrance on a balcony amidst much stage smoke, holding a guitar which ignites and wearing a shiny silver suit. He makes the most of his short time on stage and looks delighted to be there, interacting well with the ladies on stage and milking the applause for all he can get.

As for the rest of the evening, the songs and routines were churned out in the required fashion – as well they should be with names such as Arlene Phillips and David Gilmore connected to the production. But little attention is paid to the acting scenes between songs or to characterisation which meant that the plot – what little there is of it – was rather lost at times, especially in later scenes. Even Louisa Lytton is a rather one-dimensional Rizzo although she does give the required attitude to the part. Some of the cast look rather too old to be in high school too. The on-stage band give it their all and create a real party atmosphere and the audience didn't seem to care at any shortcomings, clapping along as required during various numbers and springing to their feet at the end for a well-received 'mash-up' of songs from the show. For them, on this ‘Summer Night’, Grease was still ‘The One That I Want’.