Singin’ In The Rain @ The Mayflower, Southampton
Singin’ In The Rain is a classic in every sense of the word, regularly ranking very high on best ever movies lists (and often the only musical on such lists) and beloved by theatre fans too. In fact a tour in the nineties was one of the first things I went to see at the Mayflower as a kid.
So, take this show and run it through Chichester Festival Theatre’s can’t miss system for musical theatre and what do you get? A night of old fashioned fun!
The plot is your usual boy meets girl affair, with some Hollywood golden-age glamour thrown in for good measure. Silent movie star Don Lockwood (James Leece) falls for Kathy Seldon because she’s the first girl to spurn his advances. Leece plays Lockwood with a mix of boyish charm and false bravado and matches up well alongside Amy Ellen Richardson’s graceful and charming Kathy.
The star of the show is Southampton’s own Stephane Anelli as Cosmo Brown, wonderful comic timing, great dancing and a knack for putting his own spin on classic songs add up to a cracking performance that audiences will remember for a long time.
Maxwell Caulfield makes the most of his stage time as studio head RF Simpson, the archetypal grouchy boss with the heart of gold. Vicky Binns’ Lina Lamont is a disappointment though, too broad and too screechy, she ditches any attempt at character in favour of cheap laughs.
The choreography here is as tight, as spectacular and (with hints to Cyd Charise) as sexy as you’d expect when you open the programme and see Andrew Wright credited.
Summer is over and blue skies will soon be a distant memory, so why not revel in the rain like this cast do?