Review: Singin’ in the Rain at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage

Singin in the Rain
Singin in the Rain

Normally any drama that happens on a show is kept strictly on the stage, but last night’s production of Singin’ in the Rain provided action behind the scenes.

During one of the dance routines for the show, Simon Anthony, injured himself and was carted off by ambulance to hospital leading to the curtains being bought down on the show and everyone ushered into the bar.

While fortunately word is that Simon is fine, in the words of theatrical parlance, the show must go on and Craig Armstrong having previously played the part stepped into the role in a show which director Catherine Lomax said is unique.

But for the most part, Singin in the Rain follows the story of the beloved 50s film starring Gene Kelly, an era when silent movies were going into the world of talking pictures.

Given the circumstances, the effort put in by the actors was tremendous and the resilience shown was admirable.

Prior to his accident, Simon had given his all as Cosmo, the clown of the piece while Katie Warsop impresses in the Kathy Selder role. Cameron Leigh steals every scene she is in with her performance as the monster that is Lina Lamont. A look like butter wouldn’t melt, but a squeaky voice tyrant and gets the mix perfectly.

Any version of Singin in the Rain is only as good as its Don Lockwood and Mike Denman steps into the big dancing shoes of Gene Kelly. He gives plenty of energy and gusto to the role, although you felt for him in the middle of the Singin in the Rain dance routine.

And while this was production which was as colourful as the original film, it is very much everyone pulling together to make it work in the circumstances. An interesting show which was full of surprises.

Singin’ in the Rain can be seen at The Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage until Saturday August 27. For tickets call the box office on 01438 363200 or visit www.gordon-craig.co.uk.