Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Review: Singin' in the Rain at Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Singin' in the Rain 
Upstairs at the Gatehouse
Reviewed on Friday 19th December 2014

I caught Chichester's recent production of Singin' in the Rain several times so was intrigued to see how such a big glamorous musical would work in such a small theatre. John Plews' production works a treat. The small cast have to work twice as hard. They burst with energy and carry the piece from beginning to end.

From the outside it seems Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are the Posh and Becks of silent movies, but from the inside things couldn't be more different as Don falls for the charms of aspiring stage actress Kathy Selden.

A gifted triple threat, West End actor Simon Adkins leads the cast as Don Lockwood. Adkins is a mesmerising dancer and his vocals are strong. He shines opposite Frankie Jenna as Kathy Selden and Paul Harwood as Cosmo Brown, both of whom settle into their roles as the piece progresses. The highlight of the evening is the trio's performance of 'Good Morning' which brings the house down.

The real star of the show is Thea Jo Wolfe who is absolutely hysterical as Lina Lamont. Jo Wolfe's comic timing is spot on and she had me in stitches. Chris Whittaker's choreography works well in the limiting space whilst the orchestra sound divine under the direction of Matt Ramplin.

Plews presents an old classic in a new way. Singin' in the Rain always provides a glorious night at the theatre, and this production is certainly no exception.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Singin' in the Rain runs at Upstairs at the Gatehouse until Sunday 25th January 2015.
Please visit www.upstairsatthegatehouse.com for information and tickets.

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