The news coincides with the 60th anniversary of the release of the iconic 1952 MGM film version starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds. The Original London Cast Recording of this production of Singin’ in the Rain was also recently released by First Night Records, reaching number one on the soundtrack chart during its first month on sale.
Film and television actor Robert Powell has recently completed the UK theatre tours of Doctor in the House and Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell. On television he won numerous awards including the BAFTA for Best Actor for playing the title role in Franco Zefferelli’s Jesus of Nazareth. He played CEO Mark Williams in the BBC’s Holby City for six years and David Briggs in the BBC’s The Detectives opposite Jasper Carrott. On film Powell played Richard Hannay in 1978 film version of The Thirty Nine Steps as well as roles in Tommy, Harlequin, The Jigsaw Man and Jane Austen in Manhattan.
Speaking about joining the Singin’ in the Rain cast, Robert Powell said: “I’m delighted to be back in the West End and joining this classic musical. On the night I went to see it, from the minute the curtain went up I knew it was a show for me and I’m thrilled to be working with such a talented company. I’ve also dealt with a few studio bosses in my time so inspiration for the part of RF Simpson should come pretty easily! I can’t wait to get started.”
Robert Powell, who will play studio boss RF Simpson, joins original cast members Adam Cooper (Don Lockwood), Daniel Crossley (Cosmo Brown), Scarlett Strallen (Olivier nominated as Kathy Selden), Katherine Kingsley (Olivier nominated as Lina Lamont) and Sandra Dickinson (Dora Bailey & Miss Dinsmore) in Jonathan Church’s Chichester Festival Theatre production. The show, which transferred to London’s Palace Theatre in February this year, also features Peter Forbes, David Lucas, Brendan Cull, Kelly Ewins, Nancy Wei George, David Birch, Matthew Croke, Danielle Crockford, Jennifer Davison, Jaye Juliette Elster, Luke Fetherston, Gemma Fuller, Francis Haugen, Daniel Iannou, Peter Le Brun, Charlie Martin, Scott Mobley, Gillian Parkhouse, Sherrie Pennington, Lisa Ritchie and Jack Wilcox.
Don Lockwood is a silent movies star with everything he could want - fame, adulation and even a well-publicised ‘romance’ with his co-star Lina Lamont. But Hollywood is about to change forever. There is rumour in the studio of a new kind of film, where the actors actually talk… and sing... and dance.
Singin’ in the Rain features songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, including Make ‘em Laugh, Good Morning, Moses Supposes and Singin’ in the Rain. Original screenplay and adaptations are by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. With choreography by Andrew Wright, the production is designed by Simon Higlett, with sound by Matt McKenzie and lighting by Tim Mitchell.
Singin’ in the Rain, which uses half a mile of flexible pipe work, a 10 tonne water tank housed in the orchestra pit and a water system that creates a downpour from above and flooding from below the stage, ‘raining’ (and recycling) over 14,000 litres of downpour per performance, is produced in the West End by Stage Entertainment UK and Chichester Festival Theatre.
The stage production of Singin’ in the Rain is based on the classic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film and produced by arrangement with Maurice Rosenfield, Lois F Rosenfield and Cindy Pritzker Inc. This production is by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc. Music Published by EMI.