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REVIEW Singin’ in the Rain Musical

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN MUSICAL

We’ve witnessed sunshine and moon light at the Hippodrome. We’ve seen the stage transformed into an ice rink and we’ve even been caught in a snowstorm, but never before have we seen it rain like it did this week!

Following its recent sell-out season in London’s West End,  the musical SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN is playing at The Bristol Hippodrome from Tuesday 22nd July to Saturday 9th August 2014.

The stage production is based on the classic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film, stars stage and screen leading man Maxwell Caulfield as studio boss ‘R.F. Simpson’, Coronation Street favourite Vicky Binns as starlet ‘Lina Lamont’, James Leece as ‘Don Lockwood’, Amy Ellen Richardson as ‘Kathy Selden’ and Stephane Anelli as ‘Cosmo Brown’

This production has received huge critical acclaim, 4 Olivier Award nominations, and played to more than 750,000 audience members, some leaving the theatre a little wetter than when they arrived!

STORY SYNOPSIS

Don Lockwood is a silent movie star with everything he could want – fame, adulation and a well-publicised ‘romance’ with his co-star Lina Lamont.  This is a charming story of a bygone era, where heart-throb Don, a decent sort, refuses to indulge in a publicity-stunt romance with his female co-star. Hollywood is on the brink of changing forever.  There is rumour in the studio of a new kind of film, where the actors actually talk.  A meeting at ‘Monumental Pictures’ concludes that talking pictures are vulgar and will never catch on, but following the successful launch of “The Jazz Singer” by their rival studio, the reality of the future sinks in and Monumental are forced to keep up with this new technology. Can Don and the uniquely voiced Lina make the transition?

DANCING

The show opens to a busy, slick scene at a movie studio set, with music which brings the Charlston to mind. I’m immediately struck by how professional the dancing is, how authentic the costumes and how elegant those 1920’s ladies are.

There are many dance highlights throughout, including Don and Cosmo’s funny tap numbers, glamorous girls dancing atop a plane as it emerges from the clouds and the whole “Good Morning” piece,  with all its comic timing. I loved hearing my Mother laughing out loud at this, partly because the piece was amusing and partly because it was so cleverly done.

SET

Beyond the grand stage set, the children and I spotted an expanse of plastic sheeting, covering the floor in front of the stage and of course we hoped it would be put to good use.

Half a mile of flexible pipe work, a 10 tonne water tank and a water system create a downpour from above and flooding from below the stage – ‘raining’ (and recycling) over 12,000 litres of downpour per performance. And my goodness, what an impressive spectacle! The stage virtually becomes a lake where love-smitten Don gets absolutely drenched while performing (I wonder if you’ve guessed it? You have?), ‘Singin’ in the Rain’. The audience doesn’t get left out either, as Don’s cheery kicks are met with shreiks of laughter from at least the front few rows of the stalls as they are treated to a welcome, soaking, splattering! It was such a hot night we were more than a tad jealous not to be within splashing distance! As star studded paving slabs light up in sync with Don’s famous dance, I hardly worry at all about the implications of mixing electricity with all that water . . .

Spectacular downpour aside, the staging throughout is impressive and interesting, featuring multi-coloured, glitzy, illuminated signs to represent the glamour of Hollywood. Clever use of coloured pink and purple lighting, along with that old favourite, dry ice, transform the set when our lovers need a romantic backdrop. 

Singin in the Rain Musical at Bristol Hippodrome 2014 Review #singinintherain @Bristolhipp

MUSIC

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN features old favourites including Make ‘em Laugh, Good Morning, Moses Supposes and of course,  Singin’ in the Rain.  The music may not have the thrill of shows like The Buddy Holly Story or the sheer volume levels of Rock of Ages, but these songs are reassuringly familiar, have clever lyrics and are, dare I say it, ‘nice’!

COMEDY

Some of the comedy is based on good old fashioned sexism, including R F Simpson’s allusions to the ‘casting couch’.
Lina Lamont has the perfect voice for silent pictures. Her horrendously annoying voice is quite funny when we first hear her open her mouth.
Quite a few of the songs are very amusing including  ‘You Stepped Out of a Dream’, where Don woos his love interest Kathy against her will. 
And there’s a great silent movie scene where a syncing problem means they’re saying one thing acting another. . .

AGE SUITABILITY

Aspiring actress and Don’s love interest, Kathy Seldon, jumps out of cake and joins her (relatively) risqué 1920s dance troupe to entertain the big bods at Monumenental Pictures. They’re clad in what appear to be teddies and are actually baring quite a lot of leg. Shocking, I know! So apart from a few shapely thighs showing, it makes a refreshing change to go to the theatre and see virtually everyone fully clothed. As I said before, it’s charming!

It was quite an education for the boys. They already knew about black and white movies, but now they understand more about how cinema developed from silent movies to talkies.  I’d recommend ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ for any age – in fact I wish I’d taken my Father too, as I realise now he would have loved it.

THE VERDICT?

While Lina Lamont had a fantastic voice for the silent movie era, she’s a major character in the show and her grating voice irritated me after a while.  That aside, we found the show incredibly professional, slick and laugh-out-loud funny.

Technically it was impressive – the sound was clear and the dialogue audible throughout.

The reprise of Singin’ in the Rain’, performed by the ensemble with their silver/multicoloured brollies, was the perfect end and was met by a well deserved roar from the slightly soggy audience.  I’m still wondering how the drenched dancers ever manage to get their shoes dry.

We all thought it was a great show and my ten year old said that despite not being at all familiar with the music, this was one of the best he’s seen.
Singin’ in the Rain is no wash-out.

Highly recommended.

OTHER SHOW REVIEWS ON PRACTICALLY PERFECT MUMS

 Rock of Ages

The Buddy Holly Story

Tonight’s the Night

Fame

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake

Robin Cousins’ ICE

Dirty Dancing West Side Story

Happy Days

Evita

Starlight Express

Joseph

Cats

Cinderella

White Christmas

 

 

DISCLOSURE: I RECEIVED TICKETS FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE OUR OWN.

www.singinintherain.co.uk

 

Singin’ In The Rain

Tuesday 22nd July – Saturday 9th August 2014

Performances:

Mon – Sat at 7.30 pm

Matinees on Wed & Sat at 2.30 pm

Tickets: £15.00 – £49.50

Concessions available at certain performances

www.atgtickets.com/bristol

Tel: 0844 871 3012

16 comments… add one
  • Bek 13/08/2014, 21:06

    I’ve never seen this, although I have heard a lot about it. I think this is one to put on the list to see in the future! Great review, thank you.

  • agatapokutycka 11/08/2014, 17:10

    I am not big on musicals but this is the one I always wanted to see.
    I hope I will get a chance one day.

  • Laura @ Kneadwhine 08/08/2014, 09:40

    I know my husband would really like to see this – he loves the film!

  • Helen @ Witty Hoots 08/08/2014, 09:11

    We love Singing in the Rain – especially when it is raining outside – hubby & I would love to go and see this musical 🙂

  • Polly 07/08/2014, 17:35

    glad you enjoyed it – it does look great

  • Jen aka The Mad House 07/08/2014, 13:52

    We love musicals, they are great. We recently took the boys to see Mamma Mia

  • Rachel 07/08/2014, 09:24

    I have been in two minds as to whether or not I want to see this, it looks so good and the reviews have been quite good x

  • Michelle 07/08/2014, 08:46

    The actress who plays Lina Lamont in the film also has a voice that grates on me – but I watch it for Gene Kelly who is just so handsome!

    Love all the rain on the stage – looks fantastic!

  • Angela Spicer 07/08/2014, 08:17

    I’ve never seen Singin in the Rain, but it looks really good.

  • You Baby Me Mummy 06/08/2014, 21:43

    This would be brilliant. Glad you had a good time x

  • Rachel @ Parenthood Highs and Lows 06/08/2014, 21:26

    I would love to see this! Being a Brummie I love the Hippodrome as well

  • Laura Petit-moi 06/08/2014, 20:06

    I had no idea that there was a singin’ in the rain musical! Makes perfect sense, though, I am a huge musical fan!

  • Sarah Ebner 06/08/2014, 19:40

    We love musicals and saw Singin in the Rain a few years back and loved it. Glad you did too! These days we see a lot with the kids, and our favourite has to be Wicked!

  • Sonya Cisco 06/08/2014, 17:14

    The film version is one of my fav rainy Sunday afternoon movies!

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