It’s over 70 years since Singin’ in the Rain hit the big screen. A now legendary film (or at least a film with a very iconic scene) in which Don Lockwood a huge star in 1920s Hollywood who is suddenly tasked with helping turn silent movie ‘The Duelling Cavalier’ into at talking film. The trouble is, his co-star Lina Lamont has a terrible speaking voice and she and Don have been playing the happy couple to appease the publicity department, which complicates his burgeoning romance with chorus girl Kathy Selden.
Singin’ in the Rain the Musical sticks faithfully to the original story but includes a few additional songs. The stage musical premiered at the London Palladium in 1983, was directed by and starred Tommy Steele and ran for nearly two years. It opened on Broadway in 1985 and returned to the West End in 1989.
In the 90s Paul Nicholas took it on tour around the UK and there were revivals in 2000 at the National Theatre and 2004 at Sadler’s Wells, the latter of which featured Adam Cooper in the lead as well as on duty as choreographer. Adam went on to play Don again at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2011 and in the West End in 2012, returning to the show at Sadler’s Wells last year ahead of this year’s UK and Ireland tour.
Cooper is making guest appearances on a few of the tour dates in the UK and Ireland tour; as is Faye Tozer of Steps fame as Lina Lamont and Kevin Clifton as Don’s comedy sidekick Cosmo Brown. The bulk of the tour is being done by Sam Lips alongside Charlotte Gooch as Kathy, Ross McLaren as Cosmo and Jenny Gayner as Lina.
In Liverpool, on the night we saw Singing in the Rain Musical, Don Lockwood was played fabulously by under study Peter Nash, Charlotte Gooch played Kathy, Kevin Clifton, Cosmo and Jenny Gayner was Lina.
Nash brought an excellence to the leading role of Lockwood, and I loved his partnership with both Gooch and Kevin Clifton. The relationship between the three felt warm, and cooky and was perfectly executed.
Jenny Gayner’s Lina Lamont was really funny, and both me and my twelve year old enjoyed the funny movie scenes of he trying to sing.
For me (and I imagine everyone else), Singin’ in the Rains most incredible moment is the fabulous song everyone is waiting for. When Singing in the Rain is sung (and again in its reprise) the use of the rain machine is so brilliantly executed you get totally swept up in the moment, and some of the audience get significantly wetter! It’s worth seeing Singing in the Rain Musical just for this!
In the iconic rain scene:
They use 6k litres of water, equivalent to 5 tonnes (here’s a list of things which also weigh 5 tonnes: 2 Rhinos, 11 Grand Pianos or 30 Panda Bears!)
They use over 100 metres of heavy-duty rubber hose
It takes 15 minutes to drain (hence the timing of the scene at the end of the first half)
Afterwards, it is recovered, it is then recycled, cleaned and used again.
They also heats the water to 37 degrees for performer (and audience) comfort!
Singing in the Rain runs at the Liverpool Empire until Saturday 25th June 2022. You can get tickets here. Do book now, you will not regret it.