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Singin' in the Rain

Date

20th April 2012

Society

Wallasey Musical Theatre Company

Venue

Floral Pavillion Theatre, New Brighton,Wirral?

Type of Production

Musical

Director

Ian Lewis

Musical Director

Chris Larkin

Report

Author: Wendy Newton

Choreographer: Lynne O'Connor

The very title ”Singin’ in the Rain “…inspires some serious humming of the title song, whilst grabbing your brolly and swinging perilously from the nearest lamp post when mentioned to any avid Musical fan …!!
This undoubtedly would have to be up there in the list, as one of the most famous Musicals, not only on the Silver Screen but also as the Stage version, which has evolved from the great ”Tommy Steele “ production from 30 odd years ago …to now …its revived and revised version which is currently on tour as we speak !

Wallasey Operatic Society, would have to be a truly brave and committed company to take this on… Well they were !… they did it with the style and enthusiasm needed to re-create such an iconic piece and indeed they did it true justice !
Congratulations ! must go to Ian Lewis(Director) with his experience and vision, whilst being careful to follow the original styling of the show, added his own attention to detail, which in turn, brought out the best from his talented cast in this presentation.
Chris Larkin (Musical Director) carefully commanded the orchestra, which accompanied the cast well, sympathetically to the style of each number and thankfully didn’t fall into the pit ..(pardon the pun !) of being too loud, as this can some times happen when playing such well known pieces.
Lynne O’Connor (Choreographer) should also be commended for producing some great movement and excellent Dance Routines.. Again the putting-together of all these iconic nos, such as” Good Morning “,” All I Do is Dream of You “,” Moses S’poses “ etc.needs obviously skill… and Lynne ,with her obvious experience and expertise provided the cast with some nifty and effective steps to create some memorable performances, not to mention having to cope with giving suitable steps and guidance for the cast to cope with a ”Raining Set “ !
All the principals were well cast :-
Richard Pitt(Don Lockwood) gave a really good performance in what is a gem of a part for an ”all-rounder “… singing acting and dancing are equally important in this role and Richard managed eloquently to make it believable, also managing to conquer the task of Tap Dancing in the pouring rain, brilliantly !!
Luke Gibbard (Cosmo Brown) gave us all of what was needed, in addition to all of the usual (singing ,dancing ,acting) …he had excellent timing in the portrayal of this ”Comedic and Character “ role. With great facial expression and stage presence, he really did provide a perfect contrast to” Don “. ”Make ‘em Laugh “ was particularly fabulous !!
Leanne Sweeney (Kathy Seldon) was perfect for her role ,complementing her leading man with strong voice, excellent dancing skills and great acting ability, Leanne has obvious experience, commanding the stage with strength and seemed really comfortable in her portrayal.
Lina Lamont (Maria Larkin) well …wow ..how she held that voice !! A great comedy part for any character actress to play and Maria certainly did it with gusto !
With such a ”whining-high-pitch “ this role can sometimes be in danger of bad diction, but not in this case however . Maria managed to portray Lina perfectly.. The typical
” Dumb Broad” !
All of the Supporting/Minor-Principal roles were excellently played, well cast and suited to all of the individuals, with accents generally held well overall.
The Chorus and Dancers were well obviously well drilled ,and executed their routines well.
Diction was good throughout and the whole cast were disciplined and focused .
Costumes were pristine, (some were stunning ! ) and correct for era. Wardrobe and Make-up should be congratulated for their authenticity.
Set was good, gave the cast good space to work in and obviously the ” Singin’ in the Rain “ number, was enhanced by the addition of the ”Raining-Deck “ It was easy to see how much hard work, had gone into the ”Cinema-tography “ (hope that’s correct ?!) for the Silent Movie sequences. From the research into finding the correct filming venues, to the Costuming ,Acting and Timing.. All of these sections were excellent, well put together and very funny indeed.
Good lighting throughout,with nice use of colour, especially for ”You were Meant for Me”.
A couple of ”Gremlins “ got into the theatre on the night that I attended and interfered with some of the Scene Changes and Sound …but hey !?
What Amateur show hasn’t had a visit from them from time to time !? ….in fact … what Professional show hasn’t had a visit from them from time to time !?
It can happen at the drop of a hat and unfortunately …In the case of some of the scene changing, it did have a little bearing on some of the pace at various times through out the show. I must say that, the cast handled it really well, and soon” upped the game “ so it didn’t detract, from the fact that, overall it was really … a jolly good Show !!
Congratulations to W.O.S. ..Committee, Production Team, Cast, Back Stage & Crew, Front of House and all who worked so hard to make this a success .
Thanking you for your Hospitality, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and I look forward to seeing you all again soon.