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Singing In The Rain - Manchester

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Singing In The Rain - Manchester#1
Posted: 3/11/09 at 11:43am
Well Poppins has now flown out of the Palace Theatre after a solid selling 3 month run and now its time for the next bunch of shows to grace our great stage

1st up
Singing In The Rain - This week only
Well what to say!
This show opened last night and to say its a mess is an understatement, one of the best and most loved musical movies of all time has been turned in to a dreary, lifeless corpse that never comes to life.

The musical numbers of course are iconic from the title song to Good Morning, but somehow even whilst keeping much of the iconic choreography it looks DOA.
The cast are pretty bad and looked like they would rather be elsewhere and the direction is laughable.

The set is one of the worst ive ever seen and just consists mainly or a bright sky blue wall and floor with some cheap cardboard cut out things flying in and out every so often, and because the set designer has gone for this ghastly blue design when the rain does start to poor its pretty hard to see, and what you can see looks pretty unimpressive anyway.

To make matters worse, the lights were going on and off at the wrong times, the sound balance was dreadful and when they level was OK the mics kept cutting out, the ensemble dont seem to be singing live and its very obvious that a click track is used for most of the ensemble numbers. Cast were dropping props, the dances never seemed to be in unison, and a smoke machine seemed to go a little crazy in one number.

Many of the jokes in act 1 failed with the audience and it was scarily quiet, however things did pick up in act 2.

Amy Griffiths as Lina worked hard and did get some laughs especially in a scene where they are trying to get her to talk in to a microphone and all the levels are wrong (Ironic really) but she looked like the only one who wanted to be there. Tim Flavin sings OK and dances well but he had zero personality, especially in the title song when it should be such a joyous moment.

If you are a fan of flops then this is one for you, if you are a fan of the film then watch the film again.

Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
Updated On: 3/11/09 at 11:43 AM
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#2
Posted: 3/11/09 at 11:48am
Oh the wonderful world of 3rd rate touring theatre.

re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester
Enuf said, its UK Productions tour! Abandon ship now.
How long has this been on the road, I don't think very long as yet. Its booked through out the next 14 months.
What's next at the Palace?

Updated On: 3/11/09 at 11:48 AM
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#2
Posted: 3/11/09 at 11:52am
Oh and dont just take my word for it

Here are the reviews from the Manchester Evening News and Whats on Stage, very entertaining reading

Whats On Stage
The MGM classic Singin’ in the Rain was first adapted for the stage in a lavish 1983 production at the London Palladium with the great Tommy Steele in the lead. In recent years a resurgence of interest in the show has seen the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Sadlers Wells in London both mount high profile stagings to mixed opinions and now UK Productions are touring their own new production of this popular classic.

However, producers take note; it’s a telling sign when the auditorium is noticeably emptier following the interval and the final applause stops before the end curtain has completely fallen.

The light story is well known courtesy of the enduring film and concerns movie star Don Lockwood and his co-star Lina Lamont, who, along with musician friend Cosmo Brown and inexperienced but talented actress Kathy Selden find themselves desperately trying to rescue their latest film, The Duelling Cavalier, by turning it into a musical extravaganza thus embracing the newly invented talking picture. When it becomes clear that Lina’s voice is too irksome to be heard on film a plan is hatched to have Kathy dub Lina. Needless to say Lina finds out and is not impressed but, true to the golden age of musical films, it all comes right in the end.

Tim Flavin is likeable enough in the lead role and he dances nicely but his performance is far too reserved considering he is playing a great movie star. He plays opposite Jessica Punch as Kathy Selden who certainly has talent but, again, seems extremely restrained.

As Cosmo Brown Graeme Henderson, who also choreographs, tries hard to win the audience over but never succeeds. He completely fails to portray the humour of his character and his ‘Make ‘em Laugh’ sequence, which should be a show highlight, is rewarded with a stony silence throughout and a justified pitiful applause that renders it really rather embarrassing.

It’s only Amy Griffiths as Lina Lamont who rises above mediocre. She is excellent as the silent movie star with the awful voice and her act 2 solo ‘What’s Wrong with Me?’ is really funny.

Unfortunately the supporting cast never manage to reach even a low level of mediocrity and the less said about Kit Benjamin and Robert Traynor as the stressed movie director Rosco Dexter and studio owner R F Simpson the better. There’s an obvious lack of energy amongst the ensemble who don’t share any chemistry or give any impression of enjoying themselves. Their dancing is not remotely slick or energised but maybe, like me, they are just struggling to be excited about Henderson’s dull and lifeless choreography which only sparks into life briefly during the three leads “Good Morning”sequence.

Maintaining this dull form, the famous “Singin’ in the Rain” sequence which concludes act 1 is hugely disappointing. Sure, it rains a little bit at the very front of the stage, but the rain is poorly lit and Flavin doesn’t actually dance in it very much, thus rendering him barely damp by the time the curtain falls.

Much of the blame for this messy production should be handed to Alison Pollard whose direction seems confused and lacking in focus. However, she is extremely let down by the remainder of the production team. Charles Camm’s banal set doesn’t help to evoke the right mood or atmosphere the show needs and is lit appallingly by David Howe, whose lighting design also regularly fails to achieve the basic requirement of lighting the cast properly.

The sound design by Jon Higson and Ross Portway is also problematic and manages to make the small band under the direction of Gareth Williams sound tinny and lacklustre.

Technical problems are evident throughout the performance with clunky and awkward scene changes, spotlights not finding the performers and an unintentionally hilarious moment where an abundance of dry ice engulfs the stalls rendering the audience temporarily blind to the action. Sadly, this is one of far too few genuinely entertaining moments of a truly atrocious production where all the elements that need to gel together utterly fail to do so.

-Malcolm Wallace


MEN News
ONE of the best-loved musicals of all time returns in a brand new stage production based on the award-winning Hollywood musical.

But new doesn't necessarily mean better and this is not the popular Tommy Steele version which was as close to the original film as possible.

Set in Hollywood at the advent of the talkies, Charles Camm's sets are mainly a lifeless matt blue, rather like some of the performances.

Clever lighting can usually disguise cardboard cut-out sets but lights went on and off at the wrong time, set changes were slow and the sound balance was wrong.

West End and Broadway star Tim Flavin plays the Gene Kelly role of silent movie star Don Lockwood who falls in love with pretty chorus girl Kathy Seldon, played by Jessica Punch in a dreadful wig, who both sing and dance well.

Muffled laughter

The film inserts work well and Amy Griffiths got laughs as the screeching Lina Lamont. But the big love song You Were Meant For Me was greeted with muffled laughter when the dry ice went berserk and choked half the auditorium.

In the famous title song, with its memorable dance number, Flavin mirrored much of the original choreography but seemed tentative about slipping on the wet stage rather than dancing euphorically down the rain-drenched street.

Comedy was provided by choreographer Graeme Henderson in the Cosmo Brown role created by Donald O'Connor but he failed to run up the wall in the iconic Make 'Em Laugh number.

We do need a tonic in these credit crunch times but this lack-lustre
production seemed under-rehearsed. and several people escaped at the interval.

A nightmare for the cast and I'm sure it will improve but it seems unfair to expect Manchester audiences to pay to see a dress rehearsal.
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#2
Posted: 3/11/09 at 11:56am
The show has toured at 2 venues and has a large tour ahead of it right through till Oct, i dont see it lasting that long

23 Nottingham Theatre Royal

March
2 Nottingham Theatre Royal
9 Manchester Palace
16 Oxford New Theatre
23 Cardiff New Theatre
30 Wimbledon New Theatre

April
6 Week Off
13 Blackpool Grand Theatre
20 Stoke Regent Theatre
27 Liverpool Empire

May
4 Woking New Victoria
11 Sunderland Empire
18 Milton Keynes Theatre
25 Birmingham Alexandra Theatre

June
1 Bradford Alhambra
8 Bristol Hippodrome
15 Rhyl Pavilion
22 Southend Cliffs Pavilion
29 Bromley Churchill Theatre

July
6 Edinburgh Playhouse
13 Sheffield Lyceum
20 Lowestoft Marina Theatre
27 Lowestoft Marina Theatre

August
10 Eastbourne Congress Theatre
17 Malvern Festival Theatre
24

Plymouth Theatre Royal
31 Glasgow Theatre Royal

September
7 Darlington Civic
14 Wolverhampton Grand
21 Southampton Mayflower
28 Wycombe Swan

October
5 Derry Millennium Forum

Oh and Mamma after this week its WWRY for 3 months, complete with Bronze statue outside the Palace
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#3
Posted: 3/11/09 at 11:58am
and what amazes me is that The Stage gave this a good review, as did the local rags from its 1st venue, i cant see how anyone could find anything in this show to like.
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#4
Posted: 3/11/09 at 12:00pm
It amazes me how easy it is to get this show wrong. The last touring version I remember seeing was god awful to, very minimal sets and I think they used screens for much of it.

I did see a version in the mid-nineties with Paul Nicholas which was very good, but thats it!

I enjoyed Uk Productions South Pacific and Seven Brides, but 42nd Street was poor (especially as it was supposed to be using Broadway sets and costumes)
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#5
Posted: 3/11/09 at 12:07pm
Even the huge and costly London Palladium word premier stage production in 1983 was sickly and sweet.
It had some great musical numbers and of course all stops were pulled out for a stunning rain sequence.
re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester
It played the Palladium for 3 years. After London it toured to Manchester, Birmingham and a few other bigger theatres but with a much slimed down rain sequence. The tour returned to the Palladium and died a death for a much shortened season.
Updated On: 3/11/09 at 12:07 PM
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#6
Posted: 3/11/09 at 12:15pm
Love those Manchester reviews.
Tim Flavin Broadway and West End star - since when?
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#7
Posted: 3/11/09 at 12:29pm
I've booked to see this in Cardiff in 2 weeks time. Hope it turns out better than it appears from this thread!
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#8
Posted: 3/11/09 at 12:30pm
A friend of mine is on this tour and wanted out after the first day!
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#9
Posted: 3/11/09 at 12:32pm
Note To BWW Members-
STOP BOOKING FOR UK PRODUCTIONS SHOWS AND THE TOURING WORLD WILL BE A BETTER PLACE FOR IT.
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#10
Posted: 3/11/09 at 12:33pm
Tim Flavin was great in White Christmas and Crazy For You (god that was a great show) but hes not exactly a household name
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#11
Posted: 3/11/09 at 12:40pm
I cant stress enough how much you should avoid this tour, unless you love flops then you should book today

Bob8Rich it wont get any better, even if they sort out the very funny technical problems this show will still be a boring disaster

Oh and for those of you who are watching it
Act 1 is an epic hour and a half long, act 2 is 40 mins lol
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#12
Posted: 3/11/09 at 3:02pm
well its comming to the mayflower ! and i have seen the version with adam copper which was really good ! so i think i might stay clear and save some money !
No Doubt Our Paths Will Cross Again ! Matt
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re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester#13
Posted: 3/11/09 at 7:04pm
"Note To BWW Members-
STOP BOOKING FOR UK PRODUCTIONS SHOWS AND THE TOURING WORLD WILL BE A BETTER PLACE FOR IT."

That's one thing I've learned from this site! re: Singing In The Rain - Manchester