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Theatre REVIEW: Singin' in the Rain - ★★★★

Updated: May 1, 2022


Staging of the classic MGM musical, adapted for the stage by Jonathan Church.


Sam Lips, Charlotte Gooch & Ross McLaren along with Steps’ Faye Tozer as ‘Lina Lamont’ star in Jonathan Church’s critically acclaimed production of Singin’ in the Rain!


Journey back to the glamour of Hollywood during the roaring 20’s. Silent movie star Don Lockwood has it all, a string of hit films and a studio-engineered romance with the most beautiful actress in town. What Don doesn’t know is that the silver screen is about to find its voice, and a chance meeting with a talented young chorus girl set to steal his heart promises to change both Don, and Hollywood, forever.


Andrew Wright’s high-energy choreography and Simon Higlett’s sumptuous set design (including over 14,000 litres of water on stage every night) combine with the charm, romance and wit of one of the world’s best- loved films. Singin’ in the Rain features the glorious MGM score including Good Morning, Make ‘em Laugh, Moses Supposes and the legendary Singin’ in the Rain


Don’t save it for a rainy day, book your tickets now!

 

Where?

until Saturday 30th April, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Part of UK Tour



 

MIX UP REVIEWS


Maddie (Age 7) - ★★★★★

Archie (Age 9) - ★★★★


"We thought this production was really good. We like the set and the colourful costumes! We kept wondering where the orchestra were - then at the beginning of the second act (and at the end of show) we saw they were right at the back of the stage - maybe keeping their instruments away from the rain? We did love the splashing in the rain but wondered how the theatre staff tidied up? We were told they recycle the rain!


There were so many types of dance from tap, ballet and Charleston and so many great songs. Maddie’s favourite scenes were “Good morning” (she was very excited to hear that song) and “Dream of you”, it must be exciting to come out of a cake. Archie liked all the little films because they were funny. Maddie also liked the movies - some were weird but it was interesting to see silent and early talking films (especially when the film and audio didn’t match up AND Lina’s heart beat)


Maddie’s favourite character was Lina because of her funny voice. Archie liked Cosmo because he was funny, ran up a wall and played piano."




Annabel - ★★★★


"On wednesday I went to see the Matinee of the touring production of Singin' in the Rain at the festval theatre. I had heard so many good things (more on that later) but this had A LOT to live up to. The MGM classic movie starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor and the wonderful Jean Hagen is hands down my favourite film musical of all time. The set pieces, the music, the chreopgraphy (courtesy of Mr kelly himself) and the wonderful wonderful musical score always leave me happy and wanting to break into song and dance. How could a stage version live up to that? How would they recreate the infamous scene where Gene tapdances and sings on the rainy streets?

Singin' in the rain has an interesting history. It started as just a series of well known songs from the 1920s (Singin' in the Rin itself had been covered by everyonea and anyone worth their salt back then) and once the writers got hold of it they decided to set it in the 1920s as the title song was written in 1929. They built a musical film around it about the birth of the 'Talkies'. The first hit with images AND sound was the Jazz Singer in 1927. The new technology and the mix of sound and images were a knockout hit with audiences and film studios alike. But what of all the silent stars of the era? Not everybody made the leap from stage to silent film to Talkies easily.

This is where Singin' in the Rain comes in. A comedy msuical about Silent stars Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont and a bevy of wonderful characters. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of acting. Don Lockwood (Sam Lips) and Cosmo Brown (Ross McLaren) were excellent comedic actors and great Tap dancers. I felt both were very aware of what they had to live up to in reagrds to the movie version and they felt a little flat in parts - I was impressed by McLaren attempting the infamous wall flip (with a little help from the swing) made famous by the superb Donald O Connor - If you don;t know it go and look up Make 'em laugh - It is stuff of musical legend!) and I cannot fault the really funny and silly 'Moses supposes' song! So fun.

Speaking of fun everyone defintely had their tongues firmly in their cheeks looked as if they were having a ball. This is what makes the musical so much fun - it is very silly and poking fun at the 'business of show'. I always enjoy seeing performances where the actors/dancers look like they are enjoying themselves. I think it is the key to good theatre and film. The standout stars of the shows were the female leads. Charlotte Gooch playing Kathy Seldon (the love interest of Don and the character who lends her singing voice to Lina Lamont) was clearly having a wonderful time. She gave the part a wee bit more depth than the very fresh faced Debbie Reynolds and in a world now where female empowerment and equalities are on the road to being more present on our screens her acting and the choice of direction gave the character so much more depth. Leading ladies back in the 1950s when the movies were made were usually somewhat one dimensional. To my surpise Faye from Steps playing Lina Lamont was without doubt the star of the show. Her comic acting was fantastic and boy can she sing -or in the case of the character she can neither sing dance or act. This is why they bring in the character Kathy to dub her lines and songs (to save a really terrible silent movie turned into a talkie 'The dancing cavalier'). It takes incredible skill to be able to do something badly but well. Faye Tozer was having so much fun with singing terribly and hamming up her acting in the style an old silent movie star would have done. She was so terribly wonderful and i am so happy they added a whole new song just for her.


The set pieces were really nice and the swing ensemble were strong dancers and singers it was a joy to watch! As promised the whole stage started to rain during the infamous song! They had cleverly put a dip midstage so all the water would gather but that didn't stop the cast having a little fun and kicking water onto the first three rows! I hear they were provided with ponchos. Jealous? Yes!


Now why oh why doesn't this get a full 5 stars I hear you cry as you tie me to a train track ( I am getting into the silent movie vibe can you tell?) . Well it definitely suffered the dreaded matinee woolly start. The pacing overall was excellent but the energy started low and although it built really well somewhere near the end it started to feel disjointed and it ended suddenly. I wonder if there were cuts due to this being a touring production.


Overall this was a wonderful feel good afternoon and I loved that they ended with a set piece with the whole cast for us to sing a long to! When it next comes round I would defintely reccomend to go and see it! But make sure you have a front rown seat and your yellow rain hat on!"





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