Reviewed by Rebecca Wong
Yesterday (24 August 2017), I visited St. Helens Theatre Royal with my friend to watch Singin’ in the Rain. The theatre is so easy to get to and with free parking on the local council car parks in the evening (we parked at Birchley Street), it’s also cheap to get to. The theatre is opposite the bus station and 5 minutes walk from the train station.
I arrived with no expectations, I love the film and have seen the Broadway production many years ago. Looking around the audience beforehand, the age range was wide with children as young as 4 present. The show was put on by the local Amateur Drama Academy RTDA and although I’d heard great things about their previous achievements this was my first chance to be a part of the audience.
The show was true to the original story with all of the wonderful songs from the film which were performed so authentically that they brought back a lot of happy memories for me. The story follows a 1920’s movie star Don Lockwood (played by a very cool Elliot Bailey) and his celebrity partner (according to the press) Lina Lamont (played by Izzi Watkins); the sweethearts of the movie industry. Just as the film-world is making the transition to talking movies, the studio rather reluctantly follows suit. There’s a few technological issues to fix by the team who also consists of Dons childhood best friend Cosmo Brown (played by Kieran Maleedy), a musician and ideas man for the studio. However, it then transpires that Lina’s voice isn’t made for broadcasting, silent movies suited her much better!
In the meantime, Don has met and fallen in love with actress Kathy Seldon (played by Charlotte Welsby-Riley), who happens to not only be really well spoken but has a beautiful singing voice. Between Don, Cathy and Cosmo they hatch a plan for Cathy do a voice over for their latest movie to disguise Lina’s rather chilling voice. This must be done in secret due to Lina’s diva personality and tendency to tantrum. She would walk over anyone to get the success that she craved.
This show was fabulous fun, a joy to watch and rather quite inspiring. The work and unquestionable dedication that was involved for such a young cast to learn a script of that magnitude, not to mention the choreography and numerous songs. Elliot’s performance of the show’s title song, complete with actual rain on stage (that I did not expect) brought a smile to everyone’s face and I have to mention Kieran’s wonderfully comical performance as Cosmo, I think he may have stolen the show for me!
There are too many to mention but every cast member contributed a new dimension to the show. It was definitely one to be proud of! Well done to all involved, I shall be recommending this all over St. Helens. Thank you for a really enjoyable evening, I shall be singing Moses, You are My Lucky Star and Good Morning for weeks to come.
Tickets cost from £12 (booking fees may apply).
Singin’ in the Rain is at the Theatre Royal in St Helens from 24-26 August 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com or call the box office on 01744 756000.
St. Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St.Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ