BWW Review: SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, The Mill At Sonning
If you're in need of a brief sojourn away from London this Christmas period, then I've little hesitation in recommending the Mill at Sonning's Singin' in the Rain. With a fine cast, you'll be hard pressed to find a more impressive show in London than this production.
No element of the production betrays the small theatre's out-of-London location - simply put, this is a production of the highest standard. 1,000 litres of water are pumped onto the small stage during each performance (the water effects are by Alasdair Elliott) and Joseph Pitcher has directed a glamorous show.
The original La La Land story of Hollywood love, this Singin' in the Rain has plenty of changes from the 1952 movie to ensure the ensemble shine throughout. The entire show is framed by a girl watching Singin' in the Rain on her iPhone, with music from the remixed version George Sampson danced to on Britain's Got Talent many years ago. It's a delightful touch that neatly emphasises the piece's continuing appeal today.
Ashley Nottingham's choreography soars with charm: each musical number throughout the show is a real treat to watch, and the entire cast admirably rise to the occasion. 'Moses Supposes' and 'Make 'Em Laugh' are highlights, and a chirpy rendition of 'Good Mornin'' easily brings a smile.
Philip Bertioli as Don Lockwood however is the star of the show. A superb dancer, his 'Singing in the Rain' was both impressive and playful, using the small confines of the theatre to splash the audience.
Rebecca Jaynes-Davies as Kathy Selden has a golden voice that harkens back to old Hollywood, whilst Brendan Cull as Cosmo brings a subtle humour. Sorelle Marsh as presenter Dora Bailey and elocution teacher Dinsmore also impresses with both her singing and dancing.
Diego Pitarch's set is an open canvas for the various shifting scenes throughout the show, which moves mostly at a strong pace. The only dips come from the frequent use of projections, which can slow the piece down, especially after one of the brilliantly-choreographed musical numbers. Natalie Titchener's costumes are all beautiful.
It seems, then, that the Mill at Sonning has hit almost all the right notes once more. When paired with a truly scrumptious festive meal, which is included in the price of the ticket, this production really does offer a great value for money and a glorious night out.
Photo Credit: Andreas Lambis