Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Singin' In The Rain (musical theatre)

The wonderful feel-good musical Singin' In The Rain is coming to Eastbourne this summer in the capable hands of the Rattonians.

Unusually for a musical, Singin' In The Rain began life as a film and was then adapted to the stage. The 1952 film starred Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds and, although now considered to be a masterpiece, it only received a lukewarm reception on its release. Iconic songs by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown include the titular Singing' In The Rain, and also Make 'Em Laugh, Moses Supposes and Good Morning. I was surprised to learn that most of the songs were not written specifically for the film but had been originally used in other MGM musicals of the 1930s, sometimes several times over.

The plotline centres on Don Lockwood, a popular silent movie star. His leading lady, Lina Lamont, is convinced that they are in love despite Don being unable to stand her. When a rival studio has a massive hit with its first talking movie, Don tries to convert his current film, The Duelling Cavalier into a talkie as well. But Lina's speaking voice is terrible and no amount of coaching helps her. Eventually it is decided that Lina's voice should be dubbed and this will be easiest through song. The Duelling Cavalier becomes The Dancing Cavalier and Don's real romance, Kathy Selden, is chosen to provide the singing vocals. Lina is furious but the plan goes ahead and the premiere is a great success.

Congress Theatre, Weds 18th - Sat 28th July (not Sunday), 19:45.
Matinees Thurs 19th, Sat 21st and Sat 28th, 14:30.
Opening Night and Matinees, over 60s and under 16s, £12.50. 
Adult tickets other evenings, £15, £13 .

1 comment:

  1. Singin’ In The Rain is a bright, fun production. All four leads could easily have been professional actors and they were aided by a strong supporting cast together with fun cameo roles – I loved the voice coaches! Alex Adams is a smooth Don Lockwood, Emily Davis a brilliantly ghastly Lina Lamont, an inspired Daniel Garnham with limitless energy is Cosmo , and Aimee Dyer is the plucky Kathy Seldon. There are sharply choreographed dance routines, beautiful singing and all the iconic moments from the film, plus the sets are interesting and varied with very slick scene changes. We were treated to a full-size movie screen showing b&w, pre-recorded “Lockwood & Lamont” films. And there was indeed Singin’ In The Rain with real rain! The costuming was vivid and colourful and I particularly liked the little details – every chorus girl in a different coloured dress with matching shoes and umbrella. Rattonians put a lot of thought into their productions and the care they take really does show through.