After a trial run at the Chichester Festival (no West End show seems to be able to avoid that particular crucible these days!) Singin’ In The Rain arrived at the Palace Theatre on Charing Cross Road back in the early Spring. Following a ‘blogger’ evening earlier this week we’ve finally had the opportunity to review it.
Based on the famous Gene Kelly vehicle from 1952, Singin’ In The Rain recounts the ups and downs of a silent movie company’s halting steps into the era of the ‘talkies’. This production by director Jonathan Church, with choreography by Andrew Wright, is pretty faithful to the original although it doesn’t slavishly copy it’s on-screen counterpart.
The show features a whole raft of memorable song and dance numbers, of course the most famous being the scene where the romantic lead takes a joyful stroll through a downpour. These performances are executed flawlessly (the renditions of Moses Supposes and Good Mornin’ are particularly joyful), the corresponding acting is solid and its all set against very inventive and colourful staging – just what you’d expect from a big West End production.
If there’s a flaw it’s the slight lack of chemistry between the two lead characters, Don (played by ex-Royal Ballet star Adam Cooper) and Kathy (Scarlett Strallen) who don’t quite work as the ideal couple. However there is an upside to this – it gives two of the other actors the room to really shine. The stars of this production of Singin’ In The Rain are really Daniel Crossley as best friend Cosmo (who has a slightly disconcerting resemblance to Wayne Sleep!) and Katherine Kingsley as jilted Bronx starlet Lina – a laugh a minute, these two get to deliver all of the writers’ best lines. The audience also get to see Robert Powell treading the boards again as movie company owner R F Simpson.
Singin’ In The Rain is taking bookings through into 2013 and there are tickets available at a range of price points – you can find details on the official website here. You can also pick up £25 tickets from the box office on the day, but of course there are subject to availability.
Some closing tips – when you go to see the show don’t rush for the door when the curtain falls for the first time because the biggest number by far is left for the encore, and if you’re in the first five or six rows a life-belt or water wings might be a very good idea…