Posted by Kirstie
Last Thursday evening a number of staff here at Superbreak took a trip to London’s West End to see the new show at the Palace Theatre, the delightful Singin’ in the Rain. We caught the train down from York, checked in at the fabulous Regent Park Danubius Hotel where we were staying and headed across London on the tube towards Leicester Square. Arriving outside the theatre, adorned with dazzling lights and oversized umbrellas, the buzz of the crowds waiting to go inside created an exciting pre-show atmosphere which was the perfect start to the evening.
After settling into our seats we were all eagerly awaiting the start of the show, ready to hear some of our favourite tracks including “Good Morning, Good Morning” and “Make ‘em Laugh” as well as the iconic title song. The story, which is adapted from the classic MGM movie, begins in 1927 Hollywood when silent movies are all the rage and tracks the careers of movie stars and on-screen lovers Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont, as they try to embrace the transformations to life on the silver screen caused by the latest trend that will change everything – talking pictures.
We were lucky enough to get seats in the front rows of the stalls which made the amazing production up close and personal, leaving all our senses delighted. We caught the authentic whiff of Hollywood producer R.F. Simpson’s cigar and felt the spray from the rain splash over us as the stars tapped their way through that memorable thunderstorm.
We were seduced by beautiful flapper girls in their shimmering tassle-clad dresses and couldn’t keep up with the mind-boggling tongue-twisting elocution lesson as the stars of the silent movies tried to wrap their tongues, and their talent, around the “talkies”.
The whole crowd laughed together at the dodgy dubbing dilemmas that ensued when Don and Lina made their first attempts at talking on screen; the squeaky voice of Miss Lamont leaving much to be desired. The cinematic elements are both hilariously entertaining as well as enlightening and they neatly tie the musical back to its movie origins.
My favourite performance was Lina’s rendition of “What’s wrong with me?” She tantalisingly mixed sex appeal with comic value while singing about her failed off-screen romance attempts with Don, wondering what on earth he doesn’t see in her. What does he think, she’s “dumb or something”?
After the show had reached its rain-drenched climax we left the theatre feeling elated and overjoyed as well as slightly damp I’ll have to admit. But that’s all part of the fun. The whole production offered a stunning blend of humour, vocal talent and impressive dance action. So far the show has received a string of glowing reviews, including from the Mail on Sunday that gave the show a 5-star rating and called it “One of the most marvellous movie musicals of all time”. We had a truly enjoyable evening and I can wholeheartedly recommend Singin’ in the Rain to anyone looking for a Theatre Break that makes a splash.