Review: Singin’ in the Rain, Theatre Royal Nottingham

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Given we have had such a wet winter, a bit of Singin’ in the Rain could go a long way to cheering everyone up.

But short of everyone bursting into song, a trip to Nottingham’s Theatre Royal to see the West End sell-out production of the classic musical will go a long way to getting rid of those winter blues.

Faye Tozer as Lina Lamont

Faye Tozer as Lina Lamont

From the off, the show whisks you away to 1920s Hollywood and immerses you in the glitz and glamour of the film industry.

It tells the tale of the transition from silent films to ‘talkies’ at Monumental Studios and how the stars of the studio, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont, have to adapt to save their careers.

Talented Don has no problem, but Lina’s squeaky Southern drawl just does not match her image - and risks ruining the film and the studio.

Luckily the angelic voice of stage actor Kathy Selden is dubbed over Lina’s scenes and the audience is none the wiser - until Lina’s scheming brings about her own downfall.

Maxwell Caulfield

Maxwell Caulfield

The quality of the singing and dancing throughout the show is of such a high standard that no fault can be found.

It is simply mesmerising, especially the tap routines and Broadway Melody sequence.

Matthew Malthouse’s Don is dashing and charming with a cheeky glint in his eye, and though Gene Kelly leaves big shoes to fill in such a famous role, Malthouse does an excellent job making it his own.

Amy Ellen Richardson, as Kathy, is good and earnest and the polar opposite to the vain Lina. Faye Tozer, the former Steps singer, takes on this role with relish and does an accomplished job of imitating the screeching tones that Jean Hagan made such a feature of the original film.

The majority of the laughs in the show are generated by Stephane Anelli’s Cosmo Brown, Don’s loyal friend and comic foil.

His clowning about and slapstick routines in the numbers, Make ‘Em Laugh and Moses Supposes, almost overshadow the fact that he is a fantastic dancer and singer.

He and Don are a loveable duo who interact well and when they team up with Kathy for the jolly Good Morning, the result is a thoroughly entertaining performance.

Another mention has to go to headliner Maxwell Caulfield, as studio boss R F Simpson, who does his best to save his studio and retain his authority as Lina threatens all.

But of course Singin’ in the Rain is famous for THAT scene - and we get it twice. Firstly, Don dances and splashes around as litres of water pour onto the stage, before it is reprised again by the whole company for the finale. It is a truly memorable moment.

Singin’ in the Rain is on at the Theatre Royal Nottingham until Saturday 15th February.