Singin' In The Rain (Tour - Manchester)
The hit West End musical gets Manchester Opera House drenched and it's wonderful, says Glenn Meads
Singin In The Rain wowed audiences in the West End with its wonderful choreography and the perfect performances of Adam Cooper, Daniel Crossley and Katherine Kingsley. This love letter to cinema and the stage is currently on tour and it's just as good and looks "Fit as a Fiddle".
If you know the movie, you cannot forget Gene Kelly's performance as silent movie star Don Lockwood (James Leece), whose stock trade is fading because of the coming of sound. Comedy ensues when we hear his co-star - the ghastly Lina Lamont (Faye Tozer) - open her mouth and a shrill chalk on a blackboard voice emerges. Gently mocking the concept of 'stars' and how technology swept them away, this lovely, heart-warming show is so much more than one iconic scene.
Featuring such memorable songs as "Good Morning", "You Are My Lucky Star", "Moses Supposes" and the title song, this show sweeps you up in nostalgia and is sweet without being cloying. Each song and dance and number leaves you with a smile on your face. This tour is superbly executed and the cast deliver each song/set piece with panache and genuine affection.
It's apt that the tour opened in Manchester, as the city gets its fair share of rain. But nothing can dampen your spirits here, as Leece is utterly charming as a star whose light is dimming. He's a better singer than dancer but acquits himself well, and Amy Ellen Richardson is sassy and commanding as his talented companion Kathy.
Stephane Anelli as Cosmo Brown attacks the role with relish. From the minute he steps onto the stage, he engages the entire audience and has them in the palm of his hands. Tozer is suitably shrill and has great comic timing as Lina and Maxwell Caulfield is wonderfully glib as RF Simpson, the Film Studio boss.
Jonathan Church keeps the laughs coming and the pace is leisurely but in a good way. The show is old school but never old fashioned and reminds you there is more to musical theatre than the likes of Viva Forever.
As for the iconic scene that everyone waits for, sit near the front for a truly immersive experience - but take a waterproof. Leece and Co have a ball in the water and so will you.
With an energetic ensemble and superb swings, there is not a weak link in the cast. Combine this with the feelgood material and a slick and pitch perfect orchestra - Singin In The Rain leaves you feeling glorious.