Gene Kelly’s 1952 film Singin’ in the Rain is one of the most iconic musicals ever made. Set in the 1920s, it follows a film studio during the time where black and white films are changing to colour and sound is making its first appearance. The whole world of film is about to undergo a radical change and to survive the industry must change with it.
Singin’ in the Rain is performed by the Mayhem Musical Theatre Company whose previous shows include Our House and Peter Pan. The Mayhem Company welcomes new talent and this production run is no exception, from the seasoned performer to the up-and-coming. Singin’ In The Rain is directed by Geoffrey Williams who while new to the industry has some impressive shows on his C.V.
Making his UK debut is Brady Lloyd who plays our main character Don Lockwood, Lloyd has an impressive resume in his native Adelaide, with several lead roles to his name. His portrayal of Don Lockwood was sweet and earnest. With a strong singing voice, his rendition of Good Morning was my favourite performance of the evening. Lloyd was faced with several technical issues during Act 1 however he carried on without missing a beat which shows true professionalism.
Ashleigh Carter is our Lina Lamont. Lina is the villain, with a shrill, high pitched voice that grates on every nerve. The perfect star for a silent film. For the first act Carter’s role is minimised and it is not until the second act, and her only solo Whats Wrong With Me? that you can see Carter’s talent shine.
From the moment that Stephanie Golding stepped out on stage I was immediately drawn to her. Goulding plays the heroine Kathy Seldon who is scathing of Don and his movie star lifestyle before becoming drawn into the movie world herself. Golding is a strong singer and performer who does the role of Kathy justice. Her singing talent is showcased in her rendition of Would You with each note reached and well executed.
Favourite act of the night must go to John Gordon as Cosmo Brown. His rendition of Make ‘Em Laugh was fantastic, paying tribute to the slapstick style of Donald O’Connor. His scenes were genuinely funny and Gordon’s best scenes was where he supported and sung with Llyod.
The chorus cast were for the most part excellent. Katie Renton joined the Mayhem Musical Theatre Company as Choreographer this year with a stellar C.V. The ensemble dance routines were visually well done and in general well received. Costumes were bright and the flapper dresses superbly made. However, they were also noticeably see through at some points in the show.
To start our night off we were informed that Pablo Gosling was unwell and that the audience would have to use their imagination for the role of Young Don. Unfortunately the loss of one of the children impacted on the show as what I am sure was supposed to be a comedic element was lost
Overall, the general impression was that the show was shy of one last dress rehearsal. There were several issues with the microphones, with Brady Llyod’s falling off repeatedly throughout Act 1 which meant that his voice was lost to the audience. This was especially noticeable during the iconic number of Singin’ in the Rain. At times the chorus was noticeably out of sync with one another and stage entrances and exits clumsy. It was an enjoyable show but requires a few changes to be great.
Review by Lisa Shaw
Singin’ In The Rain
Singin’ in the Rain is an all singing, all dancing spectacle telling the story of Hollywood’s first musical when the silver screen found its voice. We follow Don Lockwood, a popular actor who, along with his shallow co-star Lina Lamont, is the main face of the old silent movies. As silent movies turn into ‘talkies’ Don leaps at the chance, but all is not as simple as it seems when Lina’s true ‘talent’ is revealed. With the help of his best friend Cosmo and chorus girl Kathy Seldon, Don finds a clever solution to add a dash of magic to the new world of the movies.
Containing a sprinkle of glamour and a shower of love, Singin’ in the Rain is a classic that features a world famous musical score, including “Good Morning”, “Make ’em Laugh”, “Moses Supposes” and of course the title tune “Singin’ in the Rain”.
28-31 October 2015
John Mcintosh Arts Centre
London Oratory School, Seagrave Road, London, Sw6 1rx
7.30pm & Sat Matinee At 2.30pm