Bringing a classic Hollywood musical to the stage is no easy thing – but Jonathan Church does it with style in this warm and funny production.
Oh what a glorious feeling to see this production based on the classic Gene Kelly film and now touring the UK to entertain and delight audiences in a lively way that captivates from stat to finish.
Singin’ in the Rain pay homage to the 1920’s film industry and the rise of ‘talkies’, following the fortunes of famous film stars Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont who suddenly find themselves having to navigate a whole new approach to film making and relying on the help of young and upcoming actress Kathy Selden and faithful friend Cosmo Brown to help them navigate through it all. This is truly a musical that has it all: laughter, class, memorable songs and romance.
Directed by Jonathan Church, this production ensures that every aspect reflects the 1920’s well – from Simon Higlett’s gloriously detailed and impressive costume designs to Andrew Wright’s classy and enjoyable choreography to numbers such as the hilarious ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’, the charmingly romantic ‘You Were Meant for Me’ and inventive ‘Good Morning’. I love how this production really places the choreography right at the centre of the show – reminding us all that essentially this is a show that is about dancing and communicating through choreography. The energy throughout is impressive and keeps the audience thoroughly engaged from start to finish.
Another element of the show that I adored was the way in which the audience was treated to seeing clips of the Don Lockwood and Lena Lamont films – really enhancing the experience, making the audience feel even closer to what is going on – as does the incredible finale to the first act and the ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ sequence that leaves the audience on a high. It is this attention to detail that is incredible – particularly considering this is a touring production – so huge credit goes to absolutely everyone working on the show.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of high quality performances to be found in the cast – not least Adam Cooper as Don and Charlotte Gooch as Kathy. They bring plenty of charm, chemistry and grace to both characters, making them compelling to watch. Elsewhere, I utterly adored Faye Tozer’s hilarious performance as diva Lena which is just so spot on throughout – particularly during the scene in which they are trying to use recording equipment for the first time. Alastair Crosswell as Cosmo was equally as strong with his endearing and brilliantly performed ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ being one of the highlights of the evening.
For anyone wanting to see a classic musical performed with grace and style – then this will be the show for you. Just sheer musical theatre delight from start to finish.
By Emma Clarendon