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Singin' In The Rain - Theatre Royal Glasgow - 12th-23rd August 2014

Published by: Jon Cuthbertson on 14th Aug 2014 | View all blogs by Jon Cuthbertson

Heavy precipitation in Glasgow never usually raises any smiles – but this fantastic touring production of Singin’ In The Rain encouraged more than smiles – it generated a well deserved standing ovation.

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This Chichester Festival Theatre production sets out its stall early – the overture begins and the cast burst into life. Andrew Wright’s inspired choreography utilises every piece of furniture and costume to full advantage – with wardrobe rails being used for flips, hats flying across the stage and even telephone wires creating interesting movement. The casting of James Leece in the leading role confirms where this restaging of the movie sees its strength – dancing. As a performer known primarily for his work with Matthew Bourne as a ballet dancer, it was no surprise to see the style and flair in his dancing, but it was a surprise to hear the warm velvet tones in his voice that had been hidden for so long. In contrast to that “warm velvet voice” we had Vicky Binns’ whining, discordant Lina Lamont. Now, if you have seen the film or the show, you will know that this is a compliment to the hysterical performance that Ms Binns gives in the role of the gorgeous diva of the silent movies, who doesn’t have the voice to match. I think this is a testament to Anne Marie Speed’s vocal coaching and to Ms Binns herself that they have found a voice that the actor can maintain, but still grates so well!

 

Stephane Anelli’s energetic and charismatic Cosmo was thoroughly entertaining. His rendition of Make ‘Em Laugh finished with the audience applauding for nearly a whole minute. From there the numbers came thick and fast with a high paced tap routine in Moses Supposes alongside James Leece as Don. Both were then joined by the delightful Amy Ellen Richardson, as the ingénue Kathy Selden, in my highlight of the show – Good Morning. Although in a completely different setting from the film, all the touches were there in a nod to the original but with such a fresh approach that the whole number was a delight to watch. We’re not even at the end of act 1 – how can they top this? By bringing on the rain of course and leaving Mr Leece on stage to do exactly what he has trained to do – dance! The rain itself is amazing – the stage is flooded almost instantly – but the dancing is exceptional. With some light up paving stones, we see just how accurate and precise a dancer Mr Leece is, while still looking so improvised and free.

 

With Act 2 bringing even more energy, Jonathan Church’s direction has been pitched perfectly with Simon Higlett’s design. Jenny Legg’s outstanding “Cyd Charisse”-esque turn in the Broadway Ballet brought another style of dance to the show and the whole number highlighted the high level of talent in the cast and ensemble.

 

Turning the rain back on for the finale was exactly what the audience wanted (except perhaps for the first few rows of the stalls who had their umbrellas up for the splash zone – I’m not kidding – be prepared to get wet!) – other than to maybe get the chance to sit through the whole wonderful romp all over again.

 

Listing Information

 

TUES 12 – SAT 23 AUGUST                 

Evenings: 7.30pm                                            

Matinees: Wed & Sat at 2.30pm

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow (booking fee)

0844 871 7647 (booking fee)

 

 

Comments

1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 3 years ago
    Thanks, Jon. This is definitely one of my favourite movie musicals. It still stands up against the best contemporary offerings to this day and I've often thought that the live version has stuggled to match that quality. It sounds like this latest tour has managed that and more!
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