Review: Singin’ in the Rain, Sadler’s Wells

Singin’ in the Rain retains all of its charm from Chichester in this lovely revival at Sadler’s Wells

“You can charm the critics and have nothin’ to eat”

It’s a good 10 years since I was soaked to the skin at Chichester Festival Theatre at their delightful revival of this classic musical. It later transferred into London though I resisted revisiting (I had willpower then!), but Singin’ in the Rain‘s reappearance with a short run at Sadler’s Wells ahead of a mooted UK tour next year was an ideal summer indulgence.

And so it came to pass on a rainy British summer evening. Sat a little further back in the stalls, we avoided the splash zone inside, having also managed to dodge most of the showers outside. And spirits were easily lifted by Jonathan Church’s entirely cheerful production of this light and breezy show which captures so much of the charm of the original MGM film.

As before, the star of the show is Andrew Wright’s choreography, all expressive elegance and exuberant eloquence as it reimagines so many of those iconic images – the splashing, the bench-surfing – and fills the stage with so much glee. The second act in particular is impossible to watch without the biggest smile on your face, such are the uncomplicated joys here.

And a strong cast makes the rest of it an engagingly enjoyable evening too. Adam Cooper, who starred back in Chichester, has aged gracefully into the Don Lockwood role, even more charismatic than before. Kevin Clifton is all irrepressible energy as Cosmo, still developing the musical theatre voice to match his dance talent. And Charlotte Gooch and Faye Tozer both make their mark in the strikingly different female leads. Entirely pleasurable and properly spirit-lifting.

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (with interval)
Photos: Manuel Harlan
Singin’ in the Rain is booking at Sadler’s Wells until 5th September

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