Singin' in the Rain (Tour - Birmingham)
The classic Hollywood musical ''Singin in the Rain'' makes its way to Birmingham Hippodrome. Kieran Johnson reviews.
Making a splash at Birmingham Hippodrome for the next three weeks is the feel-good classic Singin in the Rain. After a successful revival in Chichester in 2011 and a stint in the West End, this Whatsonstage.com Award winning show comes to Birmingham as part of its nationwide tour.
The year is 1927 and silent movies are taking Hollywood by storm; Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are two of the eras leading stars and are reluctant to sign up for the ‘vulgar' talking pictures. Monuments Pictures need a hit movie to compete with their rivals Warner Brothers but with Lina's talking and singing voice leaving them embarrassed, it falls to unknown actress Kathy Seldon to dub Lina's vocals.
Faye Tozer is an absolute gem in this musical masterpiece as the troublesome but harmless Lina Lamont. Perhaps it's the first time audiences have laughed at her singing voice but during "What's Wrong With Me?" her ability to suppress her usual delightful vocals provides ample laughs and admiration for the character.
James Leece as Don Lockwood and Amy Ellen Richardson as Kathy Seldon bring romance and charm to their roles that create a loveable pairing. Leece is mesmerising during "Singin in the Rain", dancing and singing in 12,000 litres of water, the Gene Kelly scene is famously recreated with terrific staging and direction from Jonathan Church. Stephane Anelli as Cosmo Brown deserves a special mention for his performance of "Make ‘em Laugh".
As always it is a pleasure to see Andrew Wright's choreography; he always captures the most terrific sequences. Particularly during "Good Morning" and "Broadway Ballet" his creative vision, coupled with some beautiful costumes, is adapted to fit 20s Hollywood perfectly.
This production of Singin in the Rain is a delightful reminder of how Hollywood created some of the most memorable songs and scenes of the yesteryear musical. The touring version of this show is on par with its London production; a rarity for touring musicals.
Singin in the Rain continues at Birmingham Hippodrome until April 5.