Robin Cousins joins Grease cast

Skating legend Robin Cousins will swap the ice rink for the stage to guest star as ‘Teen Angel’ in the smash hit musical Grease for its limited 1 week season in Crawley.

Monday, 9th January 2012, 9:13 am

The former Olympic champion and Dancing on Ice judge will leave audiences hopelessly devoted to his charms when Grease rocks into The Hawth Theatre from 26- 31 March 2012.

Following its electrifyin’ 4 year London run, and for the first time in over 5 years, the hit West End show began a new tour last spring. Back by popular demand, Grease premiered at the Edinburgh Playhouse on 6 May 2011 and has since played venues throughout the UK and Ireland. Grease will continue to rock ‘n’ roll around the UK in 2012 with confirmed venues in Canterbury, Tunbridge Wells, Bristol, Nottingham, Northampton, Stoke, Sheffield and many more.

Danny Bayne stars as ‘Danny’ with Carina Gillespie as his sweetheart ‘Sandy’, as the couple follow in the footsteps of John Travolta and Olivia Newton John who famously played the roles in the hit 1978 movie. The cast also includes: Ricky Rojas (‘Kenickie’), Kate Somerset How (‘Rizzo’), Laura Wilson (‘Jan’), Richard Vincent (‘Doody’), Lauren Stroud (‘Frenchy’), Josh Dever (‘Sonny’), Lois Urwin (‘Marty’), Darren John (‘Eugene’), Sammy Kelly (‘Patty’), Nancy Hill ‘(Miss Lynch’), Sophie Zucchini (‘Cha Cha’) and Stuart Reid (‘Vince Fontaine’), with other parts played by the ensemble.

Robin Cousins is one of Britain’s most famous and best loved individual ice skaters. He retired from the ice rink in 2000, after 30 years on the ice and 20 years of professional skating. During his highly successful career, Robin won the World Free Skating Championship Gold medal three times (‘78, ‘79, ‘80) and rose to the top in 1980, winning World Championship Silver and capping his amateur career with the European Championship and Olympic Gold medals. He was awarded the M.B.E. that year for his services to sport and skating, and more recently was made an Official Team GB Ambassador for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Robin is also a member of the host committee for the European Figure Skating Championships being held at the Sheffield Arena from 22- 28 January 2012.

As a professional skater, Robin made several appearances as a guest star with Holiday on Ice and Ice Capades (USA) and as a director and choreographer, he has worked extensively on shows for the ice spectacular Holiday on Ice including Tropicana- The Passion Tour (UK tour, 13 Jan- 19 Feb 2012). Robin’s extensive choreographic credits also include ice interpretations of The Wizard of Oz, Starlight Express and Disney’s Toy Story and many shows for his own ice company such as Electric Ice. Away from the ice, Robin has forged a successful career in theatre including starring roles Cats, The Rocky Horror Show (West End) and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Robin will reside as head judge on the ice panel of ITV1’s hit show Dancing on Ice for the new series, which starts in January 2012, before gliding back into Grease on 6 March 2011.

Danny Bayne won ITV’s Grease is the Word (2007) and went on to make his West End debut as ‘Danny’ in Grease playing the role for over 2 years at the Piccadilly Theatre to sell-out audiences. His other theatre credits include: Top Cat the Musical, Snow White, On Show at the Royal Albert Hall and Popcorn. More recently he co-starred with Julian Clary in Cinderella at the Hawth Theatre Crawley and appeared as ‘Corny Collins’ in the tour of the hit musical Hairspray. Danny also has a passion for both dance and choreography. Formerly a major world competitor, his dance credits include: British Champion in Freestyle, Hip Hop and ‘Rock ’n’ Roll’ and 3rd place in Latin American at the Italian World Championships. His choreographic credits include: Genie in the House (for Nickelodeon), West End Eurovision (Piccadilly Theatre) and several Hip Hop shows, carnivals and events. Danny reprises the iconic role of ‘Danny Zuko’ for the 2011/12 tour of Grease.

Carina Gillespie trained at the Liverpool Theatre School and made her professional stage debut as ‘Maria Elena’ in the hugely successful musical Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story. Her further theatre credits include the role of ‘Linda’ in Bloodbath -The Musical, and ‘Princess Tamara’ in Jack in the Beanstalk in Ipswich. Carina’s other credits include performing as a regular session singer for ‘Love to Infinity Records’, releasing a debut single (with the new pop-dance band Ezcapade, 2010), appearing as a support act for ‘Basshunter’ (UK tour 2010) and as a dancer in numerous music videos. More recently Carina made her West End debut as ‘Sandy’ in Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre.

Since breaking out on Broadway in 1972, Grease’s place has been firmly established in the cultural Hall of Fame, having seduced the hearts of millions with its back-to-back sizzling tunes. It’s the original high-school musical featuring everyone’s favourite characters - ‘Sandy’, ‘Danny’, the groovy ‘T Birds’, the sassy ‘Pink Ladies’ and the whole gang at Rydell High - with all the unforgettable songs from the hit movie including ‘You’re The One That I Want’, ‘Grease Is The Word’, ‘Summer Nights’, ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’, ‘Sandy’, ‘Greased Lightnin’’ and many more.

Voted the “No 1 Greatest Musical”* Grease has proved that a musical love story, bursting with denim, cheerleaders, slick hairstyles, rock ’n ’roll, 1950’s pop culture and an irresistible mix of teenage angst and young romance is timeless and universal. Grease is the ultimate feel-good, pick-me up musical - an electrifyin’ extravaganza, packed with fun, energy and vibrant physicality. The show is guaranteed to thrill audiences and leave everyone hand-jiving the night away with “a-wop-bop-a-loo-bop, a wop-bam-boom!”

Grease returned to the West End in July 2007 and during its triumphant run, the audience favourite played over 1,500 performances and was seen by over 1½ million theatregoers at the Piccadilly Theatre where it became the longest running show in the venue’s history. Grease closed in London on 30 April 2011 after a hugely successful 4 years and immediately began its new tour.

This production originally opened in the West End in 1993 (co-produced with Robert Stigwood) where it enjoyed a fantastic run of 6 years. The last international tour of Grease was a phenomenal success, playing to sell-out audiences and smashing records at many venues. Since 1993 the show has been seen by audiences totalling over 12 million people in the UK alone. Last year, a second production played internationally in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Auckland and Hong Kong. Grease continues to maintain its everlasting popularity, proving its enduring appeal with audiences of every generation worldwide.

Written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, directed by David Gilmore (Daisy Pulls It Off, Happy Days, Song & Dance, Footloose) and choreographed by Arlene Phillips (Starlight Express, Saturday Night Fever, Flashdance The Musical & BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing), Grease is produced in the West End and on tour by Paul Nicholas and David Ian and is presented by arrangement with Robert Stigwood.