Even before a leather-clad John Travolta swaggered onto the big screen alongside a demure Olivia Newton-John, Grease was the word.

The much-loved tale of leather-clad greaser Danny and girl-next-door Sandy, reunited at Rydell High after their summer romance, is a rambunctious musical which has been getting audiences dancing in the aisles since it was first staged in the early 70s.

The eponymous film spread this tale of teenage trials, tribulations and true love even further – pulling in a new audience with its charismatic cast and stellar score, bursting with hits like Summer Nights, Greased Lightnin’, Hopelessly Devoted to You and You’re the One That I Want.

This week, fans of the T-Birds and Pink Ladies are again in their element, with the show packing out the New Theatre Oxford.

And among its fresh young cast is a slightly more experienced star – pop heartthrob Peter Andre.

The Mysterious Girl singer appears as Teen Angel in the show, the first new production in 25 years, which runs until Saturday.

“It’s electrifying, dazzling and slick,” he says.

“Teen Angel has such an iconic part in both the stage production and the film too.

“The message he brings is strong too. As teenagers we all go through that phase of ‘I don’t want to go to school’, but what we’re saying is ‘listen, it’s not cool to drop out’ and getting that across in a way that they will listen.”

He is delighted to be appearing in the show – one of his favourites.

“I was offered the part of Danny years ago but I couldn’t do it because of the length of the tour. So when the show came up again I said to my manager would love to do something, but again I wouldn’t be able to commit to whole thing. Colin [Ingram, the producer] had mentioned the role of Teen Angel and I said that was perfect.

Oxford Mail:

The role has been played by some iconic names in the past, but Peter has enjoyed putting his own stamp on it – with a bit of help from choreographer Arlene Philips.

“I asked Arlene if I was doing exactly as they’ve done before and she said no, it is going to be with a twist, and wouldn’t tell me any more!” he laughs. “But they’ve made a bigger thing of it and it’s an important part of the show.”

Joining him on stage are Dan Partridge, Martha Kirby, Louis Gaunt and Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky, who star as Danny, Sandy, Kenickie and Rizzo respectively.

Oxford Mail:

And Peter is delighted to be donning his angel wings alongside them.

“I think Greece encapsulated most teenagers’ experiences – what they were really thinking and feeling.

“You start getting feelings for other people, your bond with friends is really tight and I think that, for me, I wanted to be Danny. I felt I could identify with him in some ways as well, where he was kind of acting cool, but was really a softy and a lot of it was bravado – that was me.

Oxford Mail:

“Really liking the girl but not wanting to show he was too keen, that was me too. I think that it really sort of made us feel like we were them.”

Read more: Gaz reforms Supergrass while 'still on a buzz'

And he is loving the updated version – which is being hailed as fresher, more vibrant and relevant – insisting it resonates well with younger audiences.

“We all know the original but the new generation might not really get it,” he says.

“It can’t be too fluffy or too sugar-coated. It’s got to be grittier. The dancing has got to be a bit more contemporary.

“I think it’s incredible. It’s almost like it’s gone full circle and is going back to the original way Grease was before it became a film, but done in a contemporary way.”

Oxford Mail:

And, being no stranger to Oxford and the New Theatre, he is pleased to be back in town.

“It’s really nice coming back and doing something like this, especially somewhere as prestigious as Oxford.

“It’s one of those places where it is always great performing here, and this is a venue where you always feel good about texting people to tell them where you are!”

Martha stepped into the role of Sandy straight from acting school.

“It’s been amazing and daunting but I’d have been worried if I didn’t feel that way,” she says. “Sandy is such an iconic role – I’ve been very, very lucky. It’s very exciting.”

Dan, however, has played Danny a few times before but said starring in the all-new production was still a dream come true.

“It’s so overwhelming,” he grinned. “The first time I did it, I was 12 years-old. I wore an oversized jacket and like to think I looked super cute.

Oxford Mail:

“I’m sure the pictures will come out at some point for sure. Then I did it again when I was 17 and now again, but this it the first time I’ve performed the role professionally.

Read more: Musical stars to play festival in church... and all that jazz

“It is an amazing opportunity and so I’m so grateful to the team for taking a chance on us. People think Sandy has to be blonde and Danny needs an Italian look – but they have thought outside the box.”

That said, there must be some pressure in taking on the roles, knowing how much people love the film?

“It’s exciting,” says Martha. “We have also had the chance to add our own experiences and thoughts on subjects and have an open dialogue with the creative team and rest of the cast.”

Danny agrees. “It’s a new version – new and improved. There is more content and more about the history of the time.

“It gives more depth about each character and their relationships and you start to see it as more than just a bubblegum thing where people look great and sound good. But that is all still in it too – everything that you love from the film, but also with so much more.

“That’s what I think is so exciting about this production and it’s an honour to be a part of it.

“It’s sexy, gritty and youthful – and having Peter Andre as Teen Angel is great!”

Grease is at the New Theatre Oxford until Saturday. Tickets from atgtickets.com