Broadway to Bradford, when it pours, it reigns! Singin’ in the Rain Bradford Alhambra Theatre
Originally, I was worried that the play wouldn’t match up to one of the 20th century's finest musicals, writes Dave Kelly, but it truly stood up to Gene Kelly standards in every way.
Gene was known to be a perfectionist and he insisted on retake after retake with Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds to give the viewer the ultimate in movie magic. And this Singin’ In The Rain show was not far from the original at all.
It sweeps the audience back to the the 1920s with tap numbers, ballroom dancing and, of course, rain!
The singing and dancing in the production was outstanding with impeccable timing, gusto and a faithfulness to the original film.
In the scenes of the production where the audience laughed in the film, such as when they showed the first version of The Dueling Cavalier, the voices became out of sync as per the movie.
Instead of playing a laughing audio, they simply let the audience belly laugh instead, which was a clever move and interactive.
You actually felt a part of the show. Isn’t that what the magic of the theatre is all about?
The hilarious Lina Lamont, played by Jenny Gayner, provided excellent comic relief while the mesmerising performance of Ross McLaren, as Don Lockwood`s life-long sidekick Cosmo, ensured a perfect cast of characters, all as impeccable as the wardrobe they were dressed in.
This presentation, straight from the West End, did not fail to deliver from start to finish. From the silent movie segment to bursting flames of colour, this play revives Singing in the Rain from its classic film glory into live action phenomenon.
No mean feat when you are dealing with a cinema classic, but this production not only met its original head on, some of the set pieces were actually better in the flesh.
The production team must be commended as the visuals created a strong image that reflected the film and made it more enjoyable as the audience saw each individual setting, making the show easier to follow.
Who knew something so simple as a bench or clothes rail could create and add so much to a musical set piece?
For a film that has stood the test of time for 70 years, the stage sets captured the era perfectly. And, of course, the yellow raincoats linked to the film made it more relevant and believable.
I must give a mention to the iconic rain scene, which closes the first act. With a lamppost and umbrella, there was gasps from the audience as Don Lockwood in the first half and, of course the whole cast ending the play, danced and sang under the rain, providing a spectacle worthy of any stage, Broadway included.
Singin' in the Rain is one of the best executed shows I have ever seen. And, knowing how well loved the film is to millions, I would definitely recommend pulling on your raincoat and going to watch this singing, splashing sensation.