THE audience was left singin’ and dancin’ and on their feet at the end of a show-stopping performance of Singin’ in the Rain at the Bristol Hippodrome.
There is always a worry that when such an iconic film is adapted for the stage it will only leave the audience disappointed – but in this case nothing could be further from the truth.
Singin’ in the Rain is the tale of the golden age of Hollywood on the cusp of change, the move from silent pictures to talkies.
The show incorporates some brilliant visual affects – as we watch a preview of the movie The Duelling Cavalier – and laugh continuously at the awful voice of Lina Lamont, played superbly by Vicky Binns.
When she delivers that iconic line ‘What’s wrong with my voice?’ in that that squeaky, high-pitched accent – so similar to Jean Hagen in the 1952 film – you know the show is a winner.
And at the heart of the tale we watch as Hollywood superstar Don Lockwood, played by James Leece and talented, acting hopeful Kathy Selden, played by Amy Ellen Richardson fall in love – despite every effort to stop them by Don’s on-screen love interest Lina.
As with many love stories, it’s the characters around the couple who often steal the show, and Binns and Stephane Anelli as Don’s sidekick Cosmo certainly give it a good go.
The slapstick theatrics of Cosmo in Make Them Laugh and the witty back-and-forths between him and Leece really capture the essence of the original motion picture.
But the real show stealer is, as expected, Leece’s rendition of the show’s title song Singin’ in the Rain.
As Leece dances around the stage as water pours from the ceiling the audience is completely mesmerised – that is until they are splashed by the water he has just kicked off the stage.
It is a wonderful tribute to Gene Kelly’s iconic performance and obviously an audience favourite as the sky’s open once again at the end of the show and the entire cast perform another rendition of the song for which they receive a well-deserved standing ovation.
Singin’ in the Rain will be at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday, August 9.