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Under my umb-rella, ella, ella! Singin' In The Rain review by #TicketTuesday winner Alison Newnham

Friday 31 August 2012

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Recent #TicketTuesday winner Alison Newnham went to see one of our favourites, the stage version of classic MGM movie Singin' In The Rain.  Re-interpreted for the stage it has been wowing crowds at the Palace Theatre since it transferred this February from a critically acclaimed spell at the Chichester Festival last year.  Check out Alison's exclusive review!

Singin' in the Rain and myself have something in common – we were both born in 1952, although according to film data I’m a couple of months older!!  So we’re both 60 this year - but I wish I was wearing as well as the show!

Everyone knows the title song, but despite this being unashamedly the highlight, there is far more to the musical as a whole.  Even the amazing outside decor of the Palace Theatre with the umbrellas and Don Lockwood character standing at the top in full song and dance mode is guaranteed to get you excited about what’s to come.

We loved the show – from the opening when the ‘movie stars’ come down the centre aisle, to the dance routines, both ensemble and  solos, to the songs – all combined to ensure over two hours of sitting with daft smiles on our faces!   The songs range from sweet love songs like You Are My Lucky Star to vaudeville numbers like Make ‘Em Laugh and of course the well known Good Morning and
Singin in the Rain
The leads of Adam Cooper as Don Lockwood, Daniel Crossley as Cosmo Brown and the beautiful Scarlett Strallen as Kathy Selden worked so well together.....their dancing was superb and full of energy. Goodness knows how many calories they burn up every night – and twice on matinee days!

But they weren’t the only stars. Katherine Kingsley as the silent movie star with the awful voice, Lina Lamont, made us laugh so much.   The elderly man sitting behind us guffawed so loudly every time she spoke that I was worried about his blood pressure!   And Michael Brandon, still recognisable as Dempsey (or was it Makepeace?) was charming as studio head RF Simpson.   Yes, the story is a bit weak but who wants to be concentrating on plots and characterisations when you could be drooling over the costumes and marvelling at the sheer spectacle of it all.  Not me!

The entire cast really seemed to be enjoying themselves and the best laugh of the night was watching the front rows get a soaking twice over as Adam Cooper at the end of Act 1, and then everyone in the finale, gave it some wellie (no pun intended) kicking the rain water into the auditorium!The warnings on the tickets about getting soaked are definitely NOT a gimic!

I’m a huge musical theatre fan and adore the big productions like Phantom and Les Mis – but there’s something about Singin' in the Rain that just grabs your heart and releases something wonderful – I think it truly is joy and it stays with you long after the curtain has lowered (actually there is no curtain but you know what I mean!).   I’m now enjoying the cast recording, which should come with a health warning as it’s almost impossible not to sing along even listening on headphones in a public place!

And lastly, a HUGE thank you to London Theatre Direct and #TicketTuesday.  Our seats were excellent and we had a wonderful night out!


 

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The toe-tapping, water-spraying Singin' In The Rain is playing at the Palace Theatre until 23rd February 2013.

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