This hugely successful West End musical kicked up a storm here in Singapore last night, quite literally! For what is Singin’ In the Rain without the rain? Clearly this thought was shared by the production team, who put a lot of work into the creation of a special set that would allow 12,000 liters of water to flood the stage and create an authentic performance, rain and all.
This travelling set collects the water after each downpour and passes it through three filtering systems to make it suitable to be used again. The water falling as rain from the 18 nozzles above the stage is heated to prevent it shocking the cast as they get soaked to the skin. The special composite stage, designed not to rot, is also flooded from below creating a huge puddle for the cast to splash around in. The first three rows of the theater were considered the splash zone and ponchos were distributed. This created an audience comedy moment when the thunder and lightning special effects gave those in the splash zone the cue to don their ponchos. Sat in row four, all I could do was laugh as they frantically rustled their way in before the onset of splashing began.
This production is full of dancing, music and laughter. It follows the story of Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont as they make their transition from silent movies to the next generation of talking films. Lina’s is the character that makes us laugh, with her crazy high pitched voice that nobody wants to hear and her terrible acting skills, which come to light when all of a sudden she has a microphone to deal with. We might almost feel sorry for her, with a movie career which is failing in the face of this new technology. Don Lockwood and Cosmo Brown even go behind her back to dub in voice over from up and coming actress Kathy Selden. However, Lina proves herself to be a bit of a villain when she tricks Kathy into remaining as her voice over and not letting her take the credit. The trio of Don, Cosmo and Kathy works really well on stage, as they work together to save one of the first talking movies. Cosmo adds a lot of comedy to the show and I felt he was a really likable character.
This show promises to leave a smile of your face and it certainly delivers. There is also a good chance you will be humming along to one of its catchy songs under that smile. A true classical musical, performed in style and with a lot of humour.