Monday, April 22

Singin’ in the Rain – Liverpool Empire

Don’t you know everyone wants to laugh?

The stage production of what is arguably one of Gene Kelly’s most famous films, Singin’ in the Rain, is once again making its way around the UK once more and is continuing to entertain audiences, just as it did in the 1950s. With such a famous score, including the titular track, ‘Good Morning’, ‘Moses Supposes’ and ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’, to name but a few, the musical really does make the film come to life right in front of your eyes.

In 1927, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are at the height of their fame as silent movie stars. Their latest movie is a massive smash hit, and they are about to start working on the next film, when news reaches them, about Warner Brothers’ next film – a talking picture. What can they do to maintain their stardom and what will happen when the public realises that Lina doesn’t sound exactly how they imagined her to? And can she sing and dance as well as her screen partner? What will happen when she realises that the fan pages are wrong and her co-star isn’t in love with her, even though she insists he is?

The cast was led by Peter Nash, understudying the role of Don Lockwood, who looked so natural in the role and as though he performed it 8 shows a week. He did rather look as though he was having too much fun, trying to splash the audience in the closing number of Act 1, but he still gave a flawless performance throughout it and it did get the biggest cheer of the first half. He was joined by Charlotte Gooch as Kathy Seldon, the ‘voice’ behind Lina Lamont. Gooch sings as well as she dances and when paired in dance numbers with Nash, the pair made routines look effortlessly stunning. Jenny Gayner as Lina Lamont kept you entertained throughout and her solo number ‘What’s wrong with me?’ was delivered completely in character – whilst some previously have delivered the number faultlessly, Gayner was able to show us that Lina should still be offkey but managed to still have the audience eating out of the palm of her hand. Kevin Clifton as Cosmo Brown, Don’s confidante and the films’ composer, whilst not vocally as strong as his three co-stars, it didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment, as his main song ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ does not need a strong vocalist to pull them off. Plus, with Clifton, it is his dancing that completely makes up for any way his vocals don’t hold up and it was not a let-down. Between his beautiful dancing and the eccentricities he added to the role of Cosmo, he definitely made us laugh and kept us entertained through the whole show.

The lighting, projections and direction all added to the production and made it a production that is not to be missed. So, whatever you are doing, stop and book tickets for a venue near you!

Singin’ in the Rain is at the Liverpool Empire until 25th June, then it continues on its UK tour. Get your tickets from now.

Reviewer: Jenn McKean

Reviewed: 20th June 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★