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Monday, 30 December 2019

REVIEW: Singin' in the Rain at The Mill at Sonning

The Mill at Sonning and the director Joseph Pitcher are establishing a regular festive treat of a musical theatre over Christmas and the New Year at the Berkshire dinner theatre. Following the success of the wonderful My Fair Lady, and last year's very good Guys and Dolls, they tackle the classic stage show based on the famous 1952 film starring Gene Kelly, Singin' in the Rain. The small thrust stage surrounded on three sides by audience presents a technical challenge to these productions which is solved this year by two large sponsors of the show who funded the film projection content and of course the essential rain system. These two elements define the production and provide the contextual setting for the talented cast to tell the story.

The projection shows the 1927 silent movie from Monumental Pictures called The Royal Rascal with Lina Lamont and Don Lockwood and then newspaper cuttings announce the success of the first talkie, the Jazz Singer which forces the studio to try and add words to there next film and retitle it The Dancing Cavalier. They are effectively produced but for those sat at side of the stage watching the film content on TV's it does feel rather overused and slows the pace of the show.
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