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  • Writer's pictureFrances

Singin' In The Rain The Musical Review | Opera House | Manchester

Michael Harrison and Jonathan Church’s production wheels out the crème de la crème of jukebox musicals that showcase gorgeous costumes, double-layered sets and water sports live on the Opera House stage.

Singin’ In The Rain is a top tier musical that demands attention to detail and director, Jonathan Church does not disappoint. Offering versatile set pieces that propel the show forward with transitions from its fake Monumental Pictures indoor film studio to its famously sumptuous outdoor choreography. The stunningly crafted production stays as true to the 1952 classic as it can, weaving strenuous performances from its incredibly talented cast. With the characters swiftly moving from play-fake-acting to singing and tap dancing within its intricate storyline, it is exhausting to watch.

Alongside plot devices that include drop-down screens and dream sequences, the sharp show does well to keep up with its timeless film. But while a few of the film's memorable dance routines have been forfeited, the heart-pounding choreography of Andrew Wright ensures that Adam Cooper (Don), Charlotte Gooch (Kathy) and Ross McLaren (Cosmo) run rings around each other in an attempt to keep up with the legacy of memories that Gene Kelly has left behind. Yet, despite such a sizeable shadow, the show adapts comfortably to its fresh, live format with a captivating revival that will continue to Make Em Laugh.

The narrative follows four blindsided actors who struggle to adapt from silent pictures to performing in the emerging talkies. Set in the 1920s, the show takes songs famous from the era, such as The Fit as a Fiddle, Good Morning and of course Singin‘ In the Rain, before adapting them with spellbinding choreography. With a reincarnation of its title song overspilling into the audience, it is advised that the stalls first four rows purchase a souvenir umbrella or raincoat before the show begins.

The charming recreation of Don, played wonderfully by Cooper, lifts the show's rich plot and is merely one of the numerous standout cast performances. The exaggerated comedy stylings of Jenny Gayner (Lina Lamont) truly help to sell the studio's struggle to adapt as the shrill screen icon's voice threatens to leave her behind in the silent era. Played against her fresh-faced rival Kathy, who carries Jenny’s beautiful backup vocals, the whole cast band together to keep the story relevant. Church also smartly used the ensemble cast to fill in for what would be a solo moment, replacing one wall flipping talent for a multiplayer of moves.

Full of humour, lovable characters, impressive sets and awe-inspiring routines, Singin‘ In The Rain is the greatest movie musical of all time and holds a firm space live on stage. The old-school romantic comedy brings lavish costumes and choreography that encapsulate the period and feels true to the original, but the tremendous showmanship of its entire production makes this live show a thrill to watch.

Tickets are available via the ATG link


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