Singin' in the Rain

Date 7th November 2013
Society CAOS Musical Theatre Company
Venue Park View Theatre, Chester-le-street
Type of Production Musical
Director Marjorie Bolam
Musical Director Colin Galley
Choreographer Pam Johnson

Report

Author: Michelle Coulson

“Singin’ in the Rain” is a superb movie musical which immediately brings to mind Gene Kelly stomping in giant puddles and, despite its many challenges as a stage musical including 19 scene changes, film sequences, and rain, to name a few, it was an excellent choice of show for CAOS.

Scene changes were executed seamlessly by utilising the crew dressed in costume with the minimum amount of set with the exception of the very good street scene which provided the expected large amounts of rain water, but   unfortunately, from where I was seated the view of the rain sequence was restricted due to the cut cloths. The costumes, in particular those of the principals, were very good. The orchestra sounded well-balanced and never overpowered the performers.

The story revolves around Don and Lina’s silent movie careers which are in jeopardy due to the introduction of “talkies”, and the video sequences required for this part of production are essential to the plot and were of excellent quality throughout.

The entire company performed with enthusiasm, giving excellent support to the principals, and the ensemble performance of “Singin in the Rain” was particularly well performed, and an excellent end to the show.  Bill Collins as “R.F. Simpson” and Martin Fairley as “Roscoe Dexter” portrayed these important supporting roles well, and their characterisations were consistent throughout.

Newcomer Sarah Bulmer, as “Kathy Seldon”, sang well and portrayed both the feisty and the gentle sides of her character well; she is certainly a young talent to watch. “Lina Lamont’s” trademark irritating voice was in the safe hands of Fiona Havercroft.  She never let her accent falter, and her portrayal of the Hollywood movie star was perfect. Peter Archer, as the clowning, cheeky “Cosmo Brown”, threw himself around the stage like a rag doll in the “Make ‘em Laugh” number, and his character was a complete contrast to the suave, song and dance man “Don Lockwood” played by Lee Brannigan. Lee gave a very good portrayal of the star quality as well as the romantic side of his character, and relished the opportunity to use his song and dance skills to the maximum. His “Singin' in the Rain” sequence was excellent.

Congratulations to Marjorie and her team for a very enjoyable production.