Arts & Culture

Wop ba-ba lu-mop and wop bam boom at Lumen Christi, Pambula

Contributor 24 July 2019
Cast and crew of 'Grease JR' at Lumen Christi Catholic College, Pambula. Photo: Lumen Christi Catholic College.

Cast and crew of ‘Grease Jr’ at Lumen Christi Catholic College, Pambula. Photo: Lumen Christi Catholic College.

Students and staff of Lumen Christi Catholic College at Pambula spent their school holidays in the last stages of rehearsal for their production of ‘Grease Jr’ which premieres tomorrow night – July 25.

The cast of over 50 students and director, Emma Hibbert are looking forward to bringing an updated and explosive version for the Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta classic to local audiences, complete with a live orchestra.

Grease is arguably the most beloved musical of all time but it not without controversy. In recent years there has been much debate about whether the characters are still relevant or indeed appropriate. In the current climate of the ‘me too’ movement much of the language from the original film feels dated and sexist.

In rehearsals for 'Grease JR'. Photo: Cast and crew of 'Grease JR' at Lumen Christi Catholic College, Pambula. Photo: Lumen Christi Catholic College.

In rehearsals for ‘Grease Jr’. Photo: Lumen Christi Catholic College.

Lumen Christi students have been able to look beyond the criticism, working on a version that has been especially created for a high school audience.

The actor playing Rizzo, Lucy Little, says “Rizzo’s journey is much tamer in the junior version, with many of the references to Rizzo’s promiscuity removed.”

“She still has her dark moments, but there are no double standards. Rizzo is a feminist. She both exceeds and rejects the standards placed upon women and girls in the era of the fifties.”

Likewise, the character of Sandy is more feisty in the Lumen production. Julia Cullenward, playing Sandy suggests “the audience will be in for some surprises. Sandy has some memorable meltdowns in our production.”

“There are some catfights and many moments where Sandy is not the innocent push over she may appear to be in the early stages of the movie.”

Audiences can, however, look forward to hearing all the classic hits.

Matt Campbell plays Kenickie and sings a stand out version of ‘Greased Lightning’ in the performance.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Matt says. “It’s a great experience to play one of the most iconic and memorable musical characters.”

In rehearsals for 'Grease JR'. Photo: Cast and crew of 'Grease JR' at Lumen Christi Catholic College, Pambula. Photo: Lumen Christi Catholic College.

In rehearsals for ‘Grease Jr’ Photo: Lumen Christi Catholic College.

Director Emma Hibbert acknowledges that to the many people who love Grease it is more than just a film or musical.

“Grease has a certain nostalgia to it. It reminds us of more innocent times and screams fun from the opening line to the last. We are sure audiences will absolutely love the version we have created,” she says.

‘Grease Jr’ takes to the stage at Lumen Christi Catholic College from July 25, 26, 27, shows are at 6:30pm. Tickets are $10 concession to $45 for a family via trybooking.com

Words and photos by students and teachers at Lumen Christi Catholic College, Pambula.

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