There can’t be many people who haven’t seen the classic MGM film, Singing In The Rain, starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, which is regularly voted the most popular film of all time. This spectacular show is in Milton Keynes this week and is guaranteed to fill your world with Hollywood glamour.
Don Lockwood is a silent movie star with everything he could want – fame, adulation and a well-publicised ‘romance’ with his co-star Lina Lamont. But Hollywood is about to change forever. There is rumour in the studio of a new kind of film, where the actors actually talk … and sing … and dance. Can Don and the uniquely voiced Lina make the transition, and will chorus girl Kathy Selden fulfil her dream of stardom and capture Don’s heart along the way?
The show features many classic songs including Good Morning, All I Do Is Dream Of You, Make ‘em Laugh and of course, Singing In The Rain. This is escapism of the highest calibre. and it even rains on stage - Twice! The iconic rain scenes uses 6k litres of water, and takes 15 minutes to drain, but don’t worry, the water is heated to 37 degrees for performer comfort.
Dancing and singing in the rain every night is a dream come true for Sam Lips who plays Don Lockwood. Sam says: ‘It’s a huge honour. I grew up watching MGM musicals, imagining that one day I’d be following in the footsteps of guys like Gene Kelly. The fact that it’s now happening is pretty incredible.’ Sam is so perfect in the role, its like Gene Kelly himself has chosen him. Sam’s voice is incredible and dreamy. His dancing is exceptional and not notably in the Broadway Melody number, but I do love a tap dance. There is never enough tap dancing in shows of today. Charlottle Gooch is Kathy Selden and delivers a outstanding performance. Her dancing is superb, her singing is striking and her acting is exceptional. She is indeed a triple threat and is perfectly cast as Kathy.
Ross McLaren plays Cosmo, the role made famous by Donald O’Conner. Ross is instantly recognisable to Doctors fans as Nurse Luca, but what would The Mill surgery say if they could see him now. Ross has the most expressionate face so you are drawn to him even when he doesn’t have a line. His outstanding performance in Make ‘em Laugh was a comic timing masterclass. He had a ladder around his neck, and his foot in a bucket and at one point, he even runs up a wall. Hugely impressive – well done Ross!
Faye Tozer reprises her role of Lina Lamont. She says ‘The reason I keep going back to this show when I’m asked to reprise the role is because I think it’s the happiest musical I’ve ever been in. I defy anyone to leave the auditorium without a big smile on their face.’ Faye is best known as a member of Steps so we know she can sing – but the role of Lina means she has to sing off key.. and I hope she isn’t offended if I say she does it beautifully. I really loved the ‘Can’t’ word being the only word she speaks properly in her broad Bronx accent. Faye knocks it out of the ball park and is magnificent, funny and very glamourous in the role of Lina.
The production numbers are out of this world and the cast are top notch. This show delivers style, glamour and is also very funny. Everyone involved in this production should be very proud. The person I took to the show actually said she felt it was better than the film! So if you are looking for escapism and glamour – this is the show for you. I would go every night if I could! Get a ticket today… and it will be a good morning.
Singing in the Rain is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 16 April 2022.