Finally the time had come for me to see Singin’ in the Rain. Would I find it a splashing success or a damp squib?
The story of the show is very much of its time, but it’s a fun story set at the cusp of silent movies changing to talkies. The score contains many well-known songs and you’ll find yourself tapping your toes to numbers such as Make’em laugh, Moses Supposes, Good Morning and the title song Singin’ in the Rain.
The leads of Adam Cooper, Scartlett Strallen and Daniel Crossley, give stunning performances. Adam Cooper’s dancing is effortlessly sensational. My wife has always raved about Adam Cooper as she’s seen him in his former days in the Royal Ballet and she saw him last year in White Christmas I can see why she rates him so highly now.
Scartlett Strallen was a triple threat par excellence, precise dancing, great acting and sensuous singing, she was a pure joy to watch. Her numbers Would You? and You Are My Lucky Star wooed us all, simply beautiful.
Daniel Crossley stole the show for me though, his character Cosmo has some of the best lines and laughs, but he really was the one to watch and he was top of his game be it acting (including some great physical comedy), singing and dancing. His Make’em Laugh was a high point of Act 1 and the show overall I’d say.
Katherine Kingsley as Lina Lamont, has to create an ear shattering and awful voice, no mean feat, her vocal warm up must be the toughest in the West End! She carries her part with great humour and fills the huge Palace theatre with her performance, a really tough part but she gave it her all and the incongruous voice with the beautiful hip swinging woman is a great comic touch to the show.
The biggest part of this show is the rain though. I’d opted for dry seats in the Dress Circle, but as the rain came down there was a collective excitement as we saw Adam Cooper re-create the iconic dance and we rejoiced as he splashed those in the front few rows of the stalls.
Regular readers will be wanting to know one thing though – How does it compare to Top Hat? Which I went to the opening night way back in April and I review here.
Well this is a better show in my opinion, the story while still rather twee is much less improbable than Top Hat and the humour is better too. The cast also had space to move and so the choreography felt smoother and more spacious. Adam Cooper is a better leading man than Tom Chambers, although I actually think Daniel Crossley is the star of Singin’ in the Rain. It would be unfair to compare the Strallen Sisters, but I have to say they are equally wonderful and I honestly don’t think one is better than the other. (I’ll have to see Zizi in her next production to see if it’s a trio of triple threats in that family) This show had better chemistry between its leads and an exuberance and effortlessness that I just didn’t feel in Top Hat.
If you could only see one of them, this would be the one I recommend. This productions set, choreography and cast, give it that edge and wow factor I thought was missing from Top Hat. If you are after an evening (or matinée) of pure classy escapism, this is the perfect show.
STARS: * * * * (and a half)
Here’s the promo video: