Singin’ in the Rain Review

Theatre Royal Concert Hall Nottingham – until Saturday 9 July 2022

Reviewed by Amarjeet Singh


I knew I was in for a treat when the delightful ladies serving me pre-show drinks were bristling with excitement and overflowing with a multitude of accolades for Singin’ in the Rain.

Originally a masterpiece of American cinema, Singin’ in the Rain is often regarded as one of the best films of all time, receiving two Academy Award nominations and featuring on countless ‘Best Of’ lists ever since. Set to the infectious MGM score including the melodies “Make ‘em Laugh” and “Singin’ in the Rain”, Jonathan Church’s acclaimed stage production is a perfect tribute to this beloved film.

Singin’ in the Rain is about the dashing, one dimensional, romantic/ swashbuckling silent film star and matinee idol, Don Lockwood and his glamorous blonde screen partner/deplorable diva, Lina Lamont. Their movie monopoly comes to a halt with the invention of the talking picture. Studio bosses pressure the duo to change their silent romantic drama into their first sound picture. There’s only one problem, a serious problem, Lina Lamont may have screen idol looks but her voice is a shrill, screechy New York squawk that will turn audiences away in their droves. Already being outshone by other talking pictures, the studio must come up with a solution, and fast. Enter Kathy Seldon, a strong willed, outspoken, angel voiced chorus girl who not only threatens to steal the show, but also the heart of Don Lockwood. The diva in Lina Lockwood will never stand for this and what ensues is as entertaining and enthralling as what occurred in the motion picture first seen in 1952.

Sam Lips, Charlotte Gooch, Ross McLaren & Jenny Gayner are spectacular in this critically acclaimed production of Singin’ in the Rain, and along with a hugely talented ensemble cast they dazzle with colour, comedy and a tsunami of talent.

I offer no spoilers, but the way the show honors ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, the film’s most iconic musical sequence, with over 14,000 liters of water used on stage each night, its executed with flair and aplomb. With pitch perfect wit, an abundance of charm, ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ was masterfully, if not manically performed, with amazing acrobatics and classic slapstick.

What was truly wonderful to see and experience, was how much the cast enjoyed themselves. During the final number, a rousing rendition of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ which included the whole cast, there was a lot of playfulness and regression and some audience interaction.

It goes to show you are never too old to be splashing in puddles, to be falling in love or to be ‘Singin’ in the Rain’. This is a musical not to be missed.