Grease - suitable for children ?

(66 Posts)
swallowthree Sat 21-Apr-12 09:09:47

Grease has been chosen as the year 5/6 production at my children's school. I think it is totally inappropriate and conveys some very dodgy messages about being a girl, conformity and relationships. Or is it just me ?

scuzy Sat 21-Apr-12 09:11:42

i am sure they are adapting it. perhaps enquire before you judge?

BertieBotts Sat 21-Apr-12 09:13:00

I remember doing it in year 7, and the messages weren't a problem. We tended to discuss them in fact between ourselves and the consensus was that it was dodgy.

FeakAndWeeble Sat 21-Apr-12 09:13:59

I think it sends a fantastic message about not comforming and staying true to yourself despite peer pressure. Can't see the problem.

diamondsonthesolesofhershoes Sat 21-Apr-12 09:14:47

My friends and I were crazy over Grease aged about 5, I think for about 2 years every birthday party was grease themed!

It depends how the school handle it. If they focus on the whole 50s theme and the dancing and the friendship group (Chang Chang changa doo wop de wop) it could be fun.
YANBU but I don't think you should worry until you've seen how they're planning to interpret it.

BertieBotts Sat 21-Apr-12 09:18:29

Huh, Feak? Have you seen the end scene?

swallowthree Sat 21-Apr-12 09:18:49

Don't know how the message about not conforming is conveyed when the most abiding image from the film is of Olivia Newton John getting a make over and taking up smoking. And then the song - there are worse things I could do - hmm. But thanks for the thought. I realise not everyone will feel as I do about this film though and the musical will be different.

iscream Sat 21-Apr-12 09:19:37

What ages are year5/6? Is that what we call grade 5/6, which is ages 10/11?
If so, that is too young.
They perform it here quite often at a local high school, but the elementary students were only invited once. So many parents objected when they received permission forms to attend, they cancelled the trip.
Usually they get to see all of the high school students performances.
I'd say age 14 and up is fine.

swallowthree Sat 21-Apr-12 09:20:41

Although I can see if handled well it could provoke some really useful discussion.

swallowthree Sat 21-Apr-12 09:21:49

They are aged 9 to 11. A bit young for the themes being covered, I think.

squeakytoy Sat 21-Apr-12 09:22:18

Grease came out when I was 6.. as kids we all loved it, without thinking too deeply about the more "adult" parts of the storyline.. to kids it is just a fun film, with good songs, and I really cannot see how it would corrupt any child!!! YABU

iscream Sat 21-Apr-12 09:22:38

I have to admit, I have not seen it since it was first out, and don't remember a lot of it.

GeneHuntsMistress Sat 21-Apr-12 09:23:30

Rizzo's unplanned pregnancy (false alarm)

Then again the Greased Lightning song about sex does advocate the use of condoms (and travolta waves them around in that song whilst dancing on the car) so suppose that balances it out.

Dunno really. Sitting on the fence. Sure they see much much worse in eastenders etc

swallowthree Sat 21-Apr-12 09:23:42

Would it be reasonable to go into school to discuss. My daughter will be mortified though.

squeakytoy Sat 21-Apr-12 09:26:55

You will probably be the laughing stock of the staff room if you go in to "discuss".... I think you are being very over-reactive and seeing far more into it than any of the kids involved in it would..

perceptionreality Sat 21-Apr-12 09:31:49

I know a teacher who adapted a Grease script for the primary school she works in. I am sure they would not include the inappropriate stuff.

diamondsonthesolesofhershoes Sat 21-Apr-12 09:34:52

Oh Christ! I'd never made the link between greased lightning and sex, I always thought he just really loved that car!! blush

Euphemia Sat 21-Apr-12 09:38:34

"You know that I ain't braggin', she's a real pussy wagon - greased lightnin'"

Did you think it was kitted out with Hello Kitty accessories? hmm

grin

singinggirl Sat 21-Apr-12 09:39:02

Our year 5 and 6's did Grease last summer, lots was adapted and edited - to shorten it as much as anything! The whole Rizzo storyline was omitted, lots of words were changed, i.e. 'the chicks will scream' in Greased Lightening was changed to 'the kids will scream'. Greased Lightening was a great song for the boys actually, really got them all involved. The school was also renamed to match ours, and various 'in jokes' were added to the script. So if adapted appropriately it can be a great production to do.

LeeCoakley Sat 21-Apr-12 09:44:02

Stage version much more 'sexed up' than the film but the scripts that schools use will be appropriate for the age group. Just a lot of fun and the children know all the main songs anyway and will love it.

SodoffBaldrick Sat 21-Apr-12 09:55:29

I first saw this aged 12 and thought the 'I won't go to bed 'til I'm legally wed' line meant that Sandy was never going to get any sleep ever again. <rolls eyes at self> blush

OP - YANBU in the sense that the message is appalling, but take heart - everyone sees right through it, even young kids, and thinks Sandy's submission and conforming is a bit pathetic. wink

LeeCoakley Sat 21-Apr-12 09:57:14

But Danny conformed as well. He didn't know about her make-over. Love is all about compromises grin

swallowthree Sat 21-Apr-12 10:06:55

I'll be interested to see what is left after they take out the main story line - the girl working out what she has to do to get the man (conform and put out) and pregnant girl singing about how much worse it is to be a prick tease bits. I suppose it could end up being about doing up a car, having a race, a dance competition and a lovely school fair at the end - in which case, fair enough. Has sparked some interesting discussion in our house already and quite pleased my daughter has said that she is not going to play the girl who takes up smoking and dresses cool to get someone to like her but she will have a look at the script first. As for being laughed out of the staff room - who cares ? and thats the message about conforming and standing up for what you believe in that that film undermines. Maybe you have been influenced more than you know.

swallowthree Sat 21-Apr-12 10:12:22

Danny only put on a cardie and then whipped it off again.

Maybetimeforachange Sat 21-Apr-12 10:19:50

It is my 6 year olds favourite film. Clearly I am a completely awful mother as it has never occurred to me that it should be censored. Off for a few learn to be a responsible parent lessons.

lollopybear Sat 21-Apr-12 10:24:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dictionarydiva Sat 21-Apr-12 10:25:01

It does have some dodgey themes, but I remember becoming obsessed with it when I was 9 (mainly thanks to bf Grandad who bloody loved that film) and clearly my mum had one reser or two reservations. So one day whilst drawing and colouring in a Grease themed tableaux (one of many) she sat down at the table with me and gently enquired as to what I liked about the film. I listed the songs, the funny clothes and the ginger girl who was a beauty school drop out. This made her laugh and then he explained to me that Sandys idea of changing to get a man to like her was flawed and kind of silly, so not to do that. To which I replied, "yeah of course, but its only pretend."

There's your answer I reckon.

Euphemia Sat 21-Apr-12 10:25:31

Actually, the chicks'll cream, not scream. grin

savoycabbage Sat 21-Apr-12 10:25:38

Isn't it "the chicks will cream"?

savoycabbage Sat 21-Apr-12 10:26:05

grin great minds.

babybythesea Sat 21-Apr-12 10:26:19

I first saw it aged 11 and was shocked and felt sick and left the room. Why? Because Sandy was going to let them pierce her ears - I mean, would you really have let someone stick a pin in your ear???? I did return after a few minutes and loved the rest of the film, with no idea what was going on other than lots of people sang songs and danced around a bit. I was about 17 when I finally got round to actually listening to the words properly and realised what they said (rather than singing my own, half-heard and misunderstood random version). Then I was shocked all over again ("I've been singing this stuff for years and oh my god - it's filthy!") As far as performing it goes, I guess you'd need to know the words so I'd hope they'd change some of them but a lot of it does go over heads and the songs are fun. I'd say check with school - not in a big, all guns blazing way but as a quick chat at pick-up "I was just wondering about Grease - I don't want to end up explaining certain concepts to DD - I know there are adjusted versions and just wanted to make sure you were doing these ones...."

LeeCoakley Sat 21-Apr-12 10:28:34

The original writer actually later wrote a version for schools mainly without the pregnancy related bit and toned down songs. There are even shorter, blander versions around now.

notyummy Sat 21-Apr-12 10:30:27

Dd watched it with me and loved it - she is 5. I saw it at the cinema with my mum and dad when I was 6. There are adult themes but they go over small children's heads. I think appropriately edited it would work as a great musical - most kids seem to love the music. In terms of seeing it as having to adapt to win a man, well it could be read in that way (as could many, many other books/films - including great ones.) Equally it could be read as a woman showing she can dress anyway she wants and suprise people. It is of it's time, but that doesn't mean it should be banned. Just discussed.

HolyCalamityJane Sat 21-Apr-12 10:48:01

Who's playing Cha Cha degogorio "the best dancer in St Bernadette's with the worse reputation?" and will there be "mooning" at the dance?grin

soverylucky Sat 21-Apr-12 11:02:50

I would want to see the script tbh. There are plenty of other things that they could do for a school production.

EdithWeston Sat 21-Apr-12 11:05:50

I wonder if they'll keep the positive bit I remember: "beauty school drop out, go back to high school"?

manicbmc Sat 21-Apr-12 11:09:01

It's a primary school production. There will be a very small amount of bad acting and a few songs sung and that will be about it.

Can't really see what the problem is tbh. I saw the film when I was 8 and thought it was great.

Mrsjay Sat 21-Apr-12 11:14:36

grease is adapted for school production dd did it in highschool andit was pretty tame and no teen pregnancy either or skintight clothes , Dd was 11 but of course the age range is a bit different as the cast was 11/17

Mrsjay Sat 21-Apr-12 11:15:11

and the message is you dont need to conform to your peer group so a good message imo

HolyCalamityJane Sat 21-Apr-12 12:24:07

Mmmmm I thought the message at the end was the opposite you had to conform hence the lovely innocent Sandra Dee became chain smoking slutty Sandy!!

Beanbagz Sat 21-Apr-12 12:28:16

My DCs school did Grease last year and it was very cleverly adapted to take out the adult themes. As far as i know schools buy in the script so i imagine yours would be the same.

It was a fantastic show and all the kids really enjoyed it - the boys especially with their greased back hair and leather jackets!

GetDownNesbitt Sat 21-Apr-12 12:40:08

We left the mooning out for a secondary school production...

It was my favourite film aged 6. Then I saw it again at the age of 14 and realised it was filthy!

RattusNorvegicus Sat 21-Apr-12 12:53:12

We did this as a Y6 leavers' concert. There is a sanitized KS2 version available. The poor little sod who sings 'Sandy' has some choice high notes to hit though!

GeraldineHoHoHobergine Sat 21-Apr-12 12:55:13

Only if you serve smarties with it for fibre.

HepzibahFlurge Sat 21-Apr-12 13:01:33

Please don't worry
My sons school did Grease in yr 6 and at first a lot of the mums were worried
The script they used was a special schools script..nothing rude, no swearwords etc. My son was a t-bird and he loved it (have a spare t bird jacket here if anyone wants to borrow it)
One of the best shows the school has ever done
If you are still worried have a word with the teacher in charge of the production - they will put your worries at rest
Enjoy the rehearsing!

Acekicker Sat 21-Apr-12 13:23:28

Google is a wonderful thing. As it says:

"Shorter and more suitable in content for teens and subteens, this abridged version retains the fun-loving spirit and immortal songs that make GREASE a favorite among rock and roll fans of all ages. "

I would imagine it's this version which given how tightly Grease rights are controlled will be the one that a lot of primary schools have used in recent years.

Mrsjay Sat 21-Apr-12 13:42:59

Sandy thought she had to conform and she didnt really they both thought that <dunno> im not sure now , Op go along singalong im sure it will be fab and very tame , and your daughter will be mortified if you go in and the staff will snigger at you , and to the poster who asked about ear piercing apparently my mum got her ears done in 1966 with an ice cube and a safety pin shock

wearytraveller Sat 21-Apr-12 14:11:50

I am almost certain that I saw a version yonks ago, very early 80s, where Rizzo says to Kenickie "If you do that, I'm gonna tell everyone you cry when you come" shock

Have often wondered if I dreamt it, but dont think so.

Mrsjay Sat 21-Apr-12 14:13:53

No you didnt dream it , shock I think when its on tv early it is censored , i love grease ive seen it hundreds a few times and i know the bits they cut when its on telly , Its certainly not in a school version

wearytraveller Sat 21-Apr-12 14:19:10

Thanks Mrs, I've always wondered!

Mrsjay Sat 21-Apr-12 14:22:12

I saw grease when i was 8/9 and i loved it but i guess I didnt know what the words and meaning meant , all i thought was sandy loved danny danny loved sandy I didnt get the sex bit at all ,

Takver Sat 21-Apr-12 14:53:28

MrsJay two icecubes, one either side of the ear, and a needle (sterilised in boiling water if you were paranoid like me ) were pretty standard in my day (80s).

I'm blush to admit I'd be thrilled if dd's school performed Grease, although patently it is completely unsuitable and the messages are terrible. Blame it on my age grin

<<sings 'look at me, I'm Sandra D>>

Clawdy Sat 21-Apr-12 16:27:06

DD's primary school performed a version a few years ago,great fun and the kids all loved it. Anything unsuitable was obviously omitted,and some lyrics changed. I remember "Keep your filthy paws off my silky drawers!" became "Keep your grubby hands off my alice-bands!" smile

DrCoconut Sat 21-Apr-12 16:31:50

Can't stand grease. Maybe it's due to being a misfit at school but the message that you have to be "cool" and tarty to be worth going out with is appaling. It also tells boys that they shouldn't go out with bookish or "nice" girls. Ugghhh.

darthsillius Sat 21-Apr-12 16:36:14

I was supply teaching at a school where they were discussing doing it at a y6 production. I asked about how they were going to deal with the sex aspect and they hadn't even thought about it!

EvilTwins Sat 21-Apr-12 16:48:26

I'm a secondary school drama teacher a d have never dared do it as a school play because of everything mentioned here! Some of the kids I teach now did it at the end of primary school (I was confused) but it was a heavily edited version. I've now bitten the bullet and looked into doing it for next year's show BUT the rights are now held by an American company (they used to be with Samuel French UK) and it's massively expensive to put on a production. I can only assume that your school, OP is doing some sort of "version" as the full thing would set them back £700-£1000 for the rights. angry

Queenofcake Sat 21-Apr-12 16:49:06

It could be worse they could have opted for High School Musical instead!grin

I have only ever seen Grease on TV on a bank holiday Monday wet afternoon - so have only ever seen the edited clean version. Is the full on filthy version available on DVD or has that been toned down too???

bowerbird Sat 21-Apr-12 17:53:45

OP I totally agree with you. It's all about conforming to the status quo, rather than standing up for who you are. Really dreadful. And the score doesn't have a single memorable song. Terrible choice.

However, be prepared to be called a prude, or worse, if you talk to the school about it. If you do decide to raise it, perhaps have a couple of possible alternative musicals to suggest. There are so many great great musicals with fantastic music and splendid roles for boys and girls, without the noxious message that Grease has.

kittens Sat 21-Apr-12 17:57:17

Hi,
Don't panic they will be using the schools version script. Its is heavily modified and all the bits not appropriate are removed (unplanned pregnancy, smoking, drinking, snogging....). If you google it you'll be able to see whats in and whats out.

Hope it helps.

Havingaminutespeace Sat 21-Apr-12 20:05:30

I've not read all the replies, only the first page. I used to love Grease when I was about 8 or 9, and watched it loads of times.
I recently watched it again for the first time in years as an adult, and do you know what?
I can honestly say that at the age of 9 the whole adult theme of girl has to conform and put out and the rest of it, went COMPLETELY over my head at that age.
I saw Grease a few weeks back with my sister, and the lyrics were up on screen as one of those sing along things) and we were both a bit [shocked] at the words to Grease LIghtning - the whole 'pussy wagon' and 'the chick's 'll cream" lyrics just aren't on your radar at that age (I used to think it was scream until seeing that! blush )
As adults, we read way more into it and look at it in more depth. As kids, they just don't get the adult themes and see it as a good dance and sing along movie.
It's only as adults we see the main theme.

squeakytoy Sat 21-Apr-12 20:11:14

havingaminute, you said it much better than I could manage this morning, and you are so right!

PrincessScrumpy Sat 21-Apr-12 20:11:44

We had a pink ladies club at primary (about year 5 I think). I've considered letting my 4 yo see it as she loves musicals but I think I'll wait a couple of years. I imagine they'll miss out Rizzo's pregnancy scare and the kissing.

Babylon1 Sat 21-Apr-12 20:15:43

My DD1 had a Grease themed joint party with her BFF last year when they were 6 & 7 years old. The girls all dressed up as Pink Ladies, the boys all came as T-Birds, it was fantastic, and becasue of the age of most of the parents, they really enjoyed it too, right back to our era it was!!!

Sorry but i'd say YABU, Grease is a great iconic film and sure there are inappropriate messages within it, but for most little girls seeing it for the first time, it's an olden days version of Hannah Montanna, but with better music!!

joanofarchitrave Sat 21-Apr-12 20:26:16

have to say i really hope that ds's school doesn't choose to do it because i would really struggle with it for all these reasons. it is the absolute peak of adolescent horribleness - i would rather they did almost any other show. whatever happened to maeterlinck's 'the blue bird' eh?

GetDownNesbitt Sat 21-Apr-12 20:39:01

Round here two fish fingers were standard numbing material for ear piercing at home

swallowthree Sat 21-Apr-12 21:31:30

Thanks - feeling more balanced about it now and will wait for the script.

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