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Cool Rider returns to W/E for one week

Aaron Sidwell as Michael and Ashleigh Gray as Stephanie.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING the success of the one-night-only concerts at the Lyric Theatre, Cool Rider is returning to the West End but for one week only. Formerly entitled Grease 2 in Concert, it will play at the Duchess Theatre from Tuesday, April 15 to Saturday, April 19, 2014.

Cool Rider is based on the cult 1982 movie, which told the heady and daring love story of two unlikely lovers and their road to romance from bowling alley to burger joint, sing-a-long-a-sex education class to talent show, and long (and beautifully lit) romantic motorcycle rides to a slightly incongruous luau ending.

It features the hit songs Who’s That Guy?, Score Tonight, Cool Rider (sung precariously atop a step ladder without the aid of wires for safety), Reproduction, Girl for all Seasons and Rock-a-Hula Luau (Summer Is Coming).

Ashleigh Gray and Aaron Sidwell will once again sing the roles of Stephanie and Michael, immortalised on screen by Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield.

Ashleigh Gray’s many recent theatre credits include standby Elphaba in Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre), Martha in The Secret Garden (UK tour), Lorraine in I Dreamed A Dream (UK tour); Kim in Taboo (UK tour), Emily in Myths and Hymns (Finborough Theatre) and Miranda in Betwixt! (Trafalgar Studios).

She has also made guest appearances in Momentous Musicals, Susan Boyle in Concert, Lee Mead at The Pheasantry and West End Men.

Aaron Sidwell’s career began at 18 when he was cast as Steven Beale in the BBC’s long running drama EastEnders. His theatre credits include Michael Dork in Loserville (Garrick Theatre), Jack Sprat in Carnaby Street (UK No.1 Tour), Ham in Children of Eden (Prince of Wales Theatre) and Kyle Gibson in The Prodigals (Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Festival).

Further casting has yet to be announced.

Cool Rider is directed by Guy Unsworth and choreographed by Matt Krzan, with musical direction by Lee Freeman, lighting design by Charlie Morgan Jones and costume design by Christopher Wilmer. It is produced by Christopher D. Clegg and James DP Drury, with casting by Jacob Sparrow.

Tickets: £25 – 39.50 (Premium Seats £49.50). Concessions: (Seniors/NUS Card Holders/Un-waged) on the day best available for £27.50. To book, call 0844 412 4659 or visit www.nimaxtheatres.com/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm, Friday and Saturday at 5pm.

Also at the Duchess Theatre: Tell Me on a Sunday (February 17 to March 1, 2014) with Marti Webb and Bakersfield Mist (May 10 to August 30, 2014) starring Kathleen Turner and Ian McDiarmid.