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!
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.
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 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’!
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!
Technically it was impressive – the sound was clear and the dialogue audible throughout.
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.
OTHER SHOW REVIEWS ON PRACTICALLY PERFECT MUMS
DISCLOSURE: I RECEIVED TICKETS FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE OUR OWN.
Singin’ In The Rain
Tuesday 22nd July – Saturday 9th August 2014
Mon – Sat at 7.30 pm
Matinees on Wed & Sat at 2.30 pm
Tickets: £15.00 – £49.50
Concessions available at certain performances
Tel: 0844 871 3012