Local talent unearthed as ‘Grease’ heads to Gqeberha stage

Jordan Morris (Danny) and Abi Ranwell (Sandy) get ready for their lead roles in ‘Grease’
TIMELESS FAVOURITE: Jordan Morris (Danny) and Abi Ranwell (Sandy) get ready for their lead roles in ‘Grease’

Smash hit and timeless favourite Grease will soon have Gqeberha immersed in the passionate and iconic love affair of Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson.

Impact Community Theatre Company (formerly the PE G&S Society) recently concluded auditions for its major show on the 2024 calendar.

The first round of auditions took place in early May, when some amazing local talent was unearthed.

However, because of the dreaded flu bug doing its rounds at the time, a second round of auditions was held — and all the pieces fell perfectly into place.

Production manager Rose Cowpar said the electrifying and talented Grease cast featured a wealth of experience alongside some sensational newcomers.

Director Leandi Fontini spotted her “Sandy” almost at first sight.

“Sandy could only be played by Abi Ranwell, who nailed her audition from the very first note to her impeccable Australian accent,” Fontini said.

Ranwell made her G&S debut in the 2015 Page 2 Stage Revue, and has not stopped since, with lead roles in Annie Get Your Gun, Hairspray and several pantomimes for Pemads.

She is a passionate performer and teacher who heads up the Dancemouse Company, and appears regularly in Impact and corporate shows.

“It’s definitely a bucket-list role for me. I’ve been watching Grease since I was a little girl,” she said.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity and excited to watch this show come together.”

Impact is known for discovering and developing new talent, and Grease is no exception.

The surprise discovery was Jordan Morris, the brother of choreographer Andrea Morris.

“I’m beyond excited to work on the energetic, rock ’n roll, fun choreography with this amazing cast as well as being able to work with my brother, Jordan, in his debut role as Danny Zuko.

“It is something I’ll treasure forever,” Andrea said.

This will be the charismatic Jordan’s first lead role and he said he was excited and honoured to be playing the role of Danny.

“I’m really looking forward to the whole experience and to be working with the amazing cast and crew,” he said.

“I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.”

The T-Birds, who rock the audience with Greased Lightnin’, are made up of stage regulars Phil Cowie as Kenickie and Mark Phelps, after his success as Link in Hairspray in 2023, playing crooner Roger.

In his first musical for Impact is Tuan Thalla as Doody, and newcomer Wayne Edwards rounds out the T-Birds as Sonny.

The hotly contested role of Rizzo, everyone’s favourite bad girl, will be played by Charlize Visser, a regular in both Impact and Pemads productions.

Popular singer and dancer Rachel Lategan will play sultry Marty, Khanya Gundwana embodies the dreamy Frenchie, and Leah Oelofse is sure to make her mark as the hilarious Jan.

This line-up will be joined by Cowpar as Miss Lynch, Emma Brown as Patty and Timothy Jacobs as Eugene, with an ensemble of fresh and exciting performers who share not just a love of the stage but are huge fans as well.

Grease hits the Savoy stage in September and tickets will go on sale later in June.



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