Sadler's Wells, London
|Kevin Clifton, Adam Cooper and Charlotte Gooch|
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Book by Adolph Green and Betty Comden
Directed by Jonathan Church
One of the two classic tales that defined the impact of the ‘Talkies’ on Hollywood (the other of course being Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard) Singin’ In The Rain is an unashamedly joyous celebration of talent in both song and dance.
The story is an age-old fable. Silent movie Lina Lamont finds herself overtaken by the trend towards sound recording, and where Lamont may have the looks of a screen-goddess, her voice of course is an unbearable screech.
It takes the genius of Don Lockwood and Cosmo Brown to spot the hidden talents in studio-hand Kathy Selden and as everyone knows, the dubbing skills of Selden go on to save the day with Selden herself being finally recognised for the vocal star that she is.
The story is simple, timeless and an endearing tribute to the triumph of good over evil. The show’s title of course derives from Lockwood’s deliriously happy discovery of both Selden’s voice and his own feelings for her – and while the title number has little impact upon the story’s arc it is a Broadway and Hollywood classic and here, under Jonathan Church’s deft direction, the front rows of the Sadlers Wells’ stalls are appropriately drenched in watery appreciation
Church and his choreographer Andrew Wright have reunited to recreate their 2011 Chichester triumph and they have been given a platinum cast to work with. Even more so in the fact that ten years ago it was Adam Cooper who starred as Don Lockwood and it is Cooper who returns to Sadler’s Wells. With Kevin Clifton and Charlotte Gooch as Cosmo and Kathy respectively, the trio are an unbeatable combination. Vocals and footwork are breathtaking in their pinpoint accuracy with even Faye Tozer’s squawky Lamont proving a further flawless joy.
For an evening of unqualified delight, this production of Singin’ In The Rain has to be one of the best shows in town.
Runs until 5th September, then tours, with tickets available here