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Friday, 1 July 2022

REVIEW: Singin’ in the Rain at the New Wimbledon Theatre

With the current trend of reviving golden-age musicals, we are being blessed with classic and wholesome shows gracing stages across the UK; and Singin’ in the Rain is no exception. This timeless musical movie to theatre musical ticks all the boxes and encapsulates all the elements of ageless, crowd-pleasing theatre that thrills every time. This production is a feast of gorgeous storytelling and impressive musical numbers.

Based on the 1952 Gene Kelly film of the same title, Singin’ in the Rain tells the story of famous silent movie stars Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont, on-screen lovers who in reality couldn’t be further from romance, despite Lamont’s deluded, starry-eyed fantasies. As Hollywood progresses with technology, the new and innovative ‘talking picture’ takes off, using devices which sync music and dialogue with the motion picture. This causes a slight problem for Monumental Studios as their leading lady Lamont cannot act, sing and has the voice of a whiny strangled cat. To the rescue come Kathy Selden, the bright-eyed leading lady with beautiful vocals and personality to match, as she dubs her voice over Lamont’s. The plot is light-hearted and simple but kept the audience engaged throughout, the spectators rooting for the romantic leads Don and Kathy, played by Sam Lips and Charlotte Gooch.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

REVIEW: Singin' in the Rain at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking

It is a real pleasure to go to the theatre when you can hum the tunes on the way in as well as on the way home, although it does set the expectations levels higher as you hope for a highly entertaining and amusing night. For once this regional tour of Singin' in the Rain delivers and exceeded those expectations to the delight of the full house at Woking’s New Victoria Theatre.

It helps that it is a remounting of the 2011/12 Chichester Production that had a spell at the Palace Theatre in the West End and returned to the Sadlers Wells Theatre in 2021 and for once those billboard promotions of direct from the West End ring true. This is a show that brings the production values of the West End to an extensive 20 venue regional tour until August this year. Brilliantly staged with a large rain trough by Water Sculptures for the iconic Singing in the Rain routine, beautifully lit for the ballets, stunning choreography throughout and all performed with great chemistry and comedic delivery by the principals. It fully deserves that standing ovation it gets on its press night in Woking.

Friday, 6 August 2021

REVIEW: Singin' in the Rain at Sadler's Wells

At university, a friend improved my life in two important ways. Being part American, they showed me the correct amount of ice to put in a glass of Coke (basically it’s all ice). More significantly, they insisted one afternoon we should go to a screening of Singin’ in the Rain, which I’d never seen.

If that’s you, then whatever else you do, don’t think that this show is a nostalgia-fest for people who love the film. It’s fresh, bright, tuneful and funny. If you’re new to the party, this tale set in a Hollywood studio at the start of the talkies in 1927, will welcome you with open arms. 

The plot concerns silent film stars Don Lockwood (Adam Cooper) and Lina Lamont (Faye Tozer), whose problems begin when it’s clear Lina’s vowel chewing accent doesn’t match her romantic heroine look. They decide to convert their latest silent movie into a sound musical, with help from Lockwood’s sidekick Cosmo Brown (Kevin Clifton), at which point we discover she’s also tone-deaf, can’t act and can’t dance. As Cosmo says – a triple threat! Cue Lockwood’s new voice-of-an-angel girlfriend Kathy Seldon (Charlotte Gooch) to save the movie by dubbing Lina’s voice. But Lina is not amused and plots her downfall.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Singin' in the Rain the Musical: Theatre Review

Based on the 1952 film of the same name, Singin’ in the Rain has been running at the beautiful Palace Theatre since February of last year. The musical has announced that it will close after a year and a half in the West End in August 2013 and will embark on a UK Tour and will return to its original home, The Chichester Festival Theatre, for a limited run. Everyone knows the classic Hollywood film starring Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly; it has to be one of the best musical films of all time. This production of the show does it justice! Following the story of silent Movie star, Don Lockwood, and how he, his best friend (Cosmo Brown) and his new girlfriend (Kathy Sheldon) must save this new ‘talkie’ movie so Lina Lamont doesn’t humiliate the studio. I’m not going to say anymore as I’m sure you’re familiar with the plot, but if you’re not then go checkout my review of the original cast by clicking here. Not going to lie, the story isn’t the most thrilling plot but it’s not meant to be; its light entertainment. Nacio Herrb Brown and Arthur Freed’s music and lyrics are beautiful; the full score oozes the classic Hollywood feel and is very pleasant to listen to.
Simon Higlett is the designer on the production, the set doesn’t really change throughout the whole show apart from minor changes but this really works, it’s a no fuss design that works in every location. Higlett has obviously taken into consideration every feature of the show and has catered it to work with them and it is faultless.


Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Andrew Wright | Interview

Andrew Wright has become one of the West End's favourite choreographers recently, with productions that have astounded the public. His choreographer credits include Singin' In The Rain (Palace Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre), 42nd Street (Chichester Festival Theatre and The Curve, Leicester), Wonderful Town(National Tour), The Showgirl Within(Garrick Theatre), Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi(Liverpool Playhouse, Union Theatre and Trafalgar Studios) ,By Jeeves(Landor Theatre) and many many more! His performance credits include Scrooge(London Palladium), Mary Poppins (Prince Edward), Anything Goes (Drury Lane), Cats (New London), Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Dominion and National Tour), A Chorus Line (Derby Playhouse and National Tour) and many more! His list of credits are endless, a career that anyone would be very jealous of! He was also nominated for an Olivier Award in early 2012 for Singin' in the Rain. Taking time out of very busy life, Andrew had the time to answer a few questions!

How did you first get into Dance?I went to a local dance school in Somerset and also danced at my main school, Millfield. However I didn't start to professionally train until the age of 17 at Arts Ed, London.

Is there any advice you'd give to any aspiring dancers out there?That there is no short cut to success. Put the hours of training in. The more skills you have to offer the better your chance of employment is.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Singin' in the Rain the Musical: Theatre Review

Singin' in the Rain is one of Hollywood's most loved and treasured musicals, although it caused controversy because Debbie Reynolds voice was ironically dubbed in parts, it still remains among people's favourite musicals of all time. Bringing an adaption of the iconic film to the West End would always be a risky thing because you'd have to get it right; otherwise you'd be seen to be making a joke of one of the most loved films from the past 100 years. The show was first put on in London in 1983 where it ran about 2 and a half years at the London Palladium, this adaption then went on tour in the UK in 1994. A Broadway production also played New York in 1985 through to 1986 with London revivals in 2000 and 2004.
In 2011 another revival was put on as part of the Chichester Festival in 2011, the show then announced it would be transferring to the West End where it would replace Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre. Don Lockwood is a Hollywood legend in 1927, alongside Lina Lamont; they make the perfect 'Hollywood couple'. They are huge hits until movies introduce sound into their pictures because Lina has the worst voice! Luckily Don bumps into a young actress called Kathy Sleden, they come up with the idea to dub Lina's voice with Kathy's. Don and Kathy soon fall in love, much to Lina's disapproval because this could ruin her career. By the end of the show Lina is soon shown as the fake she is to the public and Kathy finally gets the attention she deserves.
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