Singin’ in the Rain Review

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – until 18th June 2022

Reviewed by Sally Lumley


Singin’ in the Rain is based on the iconic 1952 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film. It follows the story of Don Lockwood (Sam Lips), one half of the silent movie couple ‘Lockwood and Lamont’, facing big change with the dawn of the ‘talkies’. The original movie is regularly voted most popular film musical of all time, and the stage version certainly does it justice.

The musical is chock full of timeless classic songs, including ‘Make ‘Em Laugh, Good Morning, and of course the eponymous Singin’ In the Rain. It is a real feast for the eyes, with beautiful costumes and lighting. The cast deliver some spectacular ensemble pieces with no step out of place, evoking the golden era of classic Hollywood musicals. There is something special about seeing a full cast tap dancing on stage, and this company brought buckets of energy and joy to their performance. The mood is contagious, and the audience were soon swept up in the feeling and bobbing along in their seats.

Sam Lips oozes old Hollywood leading man charm, pulling out flawless vocals and perfect dance moves. His delivery of Singin’ in the Rain was magnificent, absolutely nailing the classic song and choreography under a deluge of rain, whilst clearly enjoying getting the front few rows of delighted audience wet in the process. The lamp post umbrella twirling moment really paid tribute to the classic Gene Kelly scene from the movie, and made this a really “wow” moment. Lips is perfectly matched with Charlotte Gooch as aspiring actress, leading lady and love interest Kathy Selden, who delivers some of the ‘pin drop’ moments in songs such as Lucky Star where she held the theatre in the palm of her hand.

Cheeky chappy Kevin “Strictly” Clifton bought star quality to the role of Cosmo Brown. His dance moves were, as expected, incredible, but he also surprised as the comedic foil to Don Lockwood’s straight man, and definitely made the audience laugh in his big number. There was a real chemistry between the three lead actors, which bought a delightful warmth whenever they were on stage.

However, Jenny Gayner as Lina Lamont was the real scene stealer of this show. As a silent movie star without a voice for the talkies, I found myself unable to dislike this truly awful character. Her perfect characterisation and comic timing had the audience howling with laughter every time she graced the stage.

Singin’ in the Rain is an old show done properly. It has all the glamour and nostalgia of old Hollywood, delivered with the pizazz of a modern musical, and will have you singin’ and dancin’ whatever the weather.