Singin' In The Rain Review
Review by Callum Stott.
Photography by Manuel Harlan
"Bringing the magic of this screen classic onto the stage is no mean feat, but this production manages to nail it."
As iconic movie musicals go, nothing is more iconic than Singin’ in the Rain. Bringing the magic of this screen classic onto the stage is no mean feat, but this production manages to nail it. The musical is full of the moments we all know and love while also having a fresh perspective with exhilarating new choreography and brilliant performances.
Singin’ in the Rain started life in the 1920s as a song featured as part of The Hollywood Music Box Revue, later then giving inspiration for the movie of the same title, hitting cinemas in 1952. This musical adaptation started life in 2012 in London at the Palace Theatre and has now been revived by Sadler’s Wells Theatre for this UK Tour production.
The show follows silent film stars Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont trying to adapt to talking pictures and making a musical feature. Don is an incredibly talented showman and performer, whilst Lina can’t sing a note in tune. Kathy Seldon, an upcoming actor, is brought on board to cover the vocals and Lina isn’t too happy about Don and Kathy’s close relationship.
There is so much right about this production. Sam Lips' take on Don Lockwood is like being in the room with Gene Kelly. He poses the same charm, natural dance and performance ability and is the show's star. The show’s title song, Singin’ in the Rain, is beautifully placed with fluid choreography and gallons of rain pouring down on the stage in front of you. Sam has the same energy and ability to allow audiences to feel his happiness in this number.
When it comes to star castings, there is always a real hit or miss factor about them, but Faye Tozer (from Steps) is an excellently cast Lina Lamont. She nails the accent acts the part well and for being such an admired singer, expertly sings convincingly badly as the tone-deaf Lina. Ross McLaren also encapsulates the energy of Donald’ O Connor in his take on Cosmo Brown. He is very athletic and naturally funny and this lends itself so well to the part.
The talented ensemble helped bring the piece to life. The show’s opening overture is also performed very creatively with movement supporting the musicians and giving the opening energy and excitement. Andrew Wright’s Choreography is the real heart of the show. He delivers a musical that pays homage to the choreography of the original, whilst also feeling very fresh and a new take on some of these iconic numbers.
The Set design is fairly straightforward and practical with the centre stage feeling like a Hollywood street, ready for that iconic dance number. The use of screens and silent movie moments made the production feel very authentic and transported you to 1920s America.
Singin’ in the Rain is such a lovely musical that doesn’t ever feel too serious, and lets you enjoy two and half hours of feel-good entertainment. It is a show for all the family., just like the film, in that, it feels timeless and will hopefully be enjoyed by many generations to come.