Based on the 1952 MGM movie starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, Singin’ in the Rain is set in 1920s Hollywood.
James Leece plays Don Lockward, leading man in the golden age of silent cinema. Working with Lina Lamont (Vicky Binns), the on-screen couple are a huge success for Monumental Pictures. While keeping up appearances, Don actually starts to fall for Kathy (Amy Ellen Richardson); a chorus girl who gets a lucky break at the studio.
Because of the period music, some may find the atmosphere quite subdued when the show begins. Especially if you’ve recently been treated to the high-energy likes of Rock of Ages. It all feels like a lazy afternoon after a heavy lunch with the radio on, rather than a dazzling night on the town. But the show is a slow-burner, building up to its iconic first act closer. When the heavens finally open and it starts to rain, you won’t be disappointed. Some 12,000 litres of water pour down onto the stage, as James Leece channels Gene Kelly in a memorable spectacle.
The fun really starts when the motion pictures introduce sound for the first time. It becomes clear that Lina Lamont’s voice and singing ability are best suited to silent movies. It’s here that Vicky Binns and Amy Ellen Richardson get a chance to shine with some great comedic timing.
Other songs include Moses Supposes, Make ‘em Laugh and Good Morning, but the highlight is of course Singin’ in the Rain.
With a strong second-half and a rose-tinted window into a fascinating transitional period of cinema, there’s plenty to enjoy (once it gets going). Just bring some sweets or caffeine to get you through the first half!