Theatre production has come a long way from the days of home painted scenery and props.
Timeless classic, Singin’ In The Rain at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, showed just how inventive it has all become back stage, something which most of us don’t usually give a thought about, as we enjoy the performance.
In the infamous scene when main man Don Lockwood twirls his umbrella around the rain splashed streets of Hollywood, it was intriguing to see where all that water would go once the scene had finished.
It was the closing scene of the first half and when we returned, all was dry and back to normal, thanks to a clever drainage system under the stage, which not only took away the warm water (to keep Don happy!) but also recycled it, so sustainable theatre is alive and kicking.
The show itself was just as impressive as the set, slick colourful, and full of life. Made famous by the 1952 film featuring the toe tapping Gene Kelly, it is a story full of love and drama.
Hollywood is preparing itself to move from the silent movies to the “talkies’’ and heart throb actors Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are tackling the switch in very different ways.
It’s complex with Lina loving Don and hoping to marry him, something Don would run a mile from, while trying to keep up pretences for his career.
Don (Sam Lips) and his best buddy Cosmo Brown (Ross McLaren) have been pals since school and make up a successful Variety duo in the silent movies with Cosmo providing on-set piano mood music for Don’s scenes with his leading lady Lina (Faye Tozer).
But it’s a chance encounter in the street with Kathy Selden (Charlotte Gooch) which steps up the drama. Not at all star-struck by Don, Kathy proves to be the love twist and the answer to all the movie hiccups.
Hilarious scenes see the actors try to grasp their newfound ability to be filmed talking, from problems with their microphones to mispronunciation of words and volume of voices being too high or too low.
Lina especially struggles, her dramatic voice deepening of the word “can’t’’ raises a laugh every time and it is Kathy who ends up saving the day, providing the voice for Lina and eventually winning the heart of Don.
With some energetic dancing and fabulous singing, the show has it all, with a bit of acrobatics thrown in too, as McLaren’s “Make ‘em Laugh’’ scene as Cosmo shows brilliant dance theatre and a fantastic back flip against the wall!
The 27 strong cast are young, enthusiastic and raring to have some fun and it shows, it’s a cracking production and leaves you feeling on cloud nine as you head into the night air.
Singin’ In The Rain moves to His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen from Tuesday 2nd to Saturday 6th August and then to Glasgow King’s Theatre from Monday 8th to Saturday 13th August 2022. Ticket details can be found via: www.capitaltheatres.com.
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.
Photographs courtesy of Chichester Festival Theatre