‘Singin’ In The Rain: In Concert’ was glistening.
A glistening Hollywood story at every step, Prospero Arts have brought an adored classic to life with powerful simplicity and magic.
‘Singin’ in the Rain: In Concert’ is a quintessential musical theatre piece, beloved by audiences and performers for its classic comedy and full-of-heart love story, made famous by Gene Kelly’s performance in the original film. Prospero Arts, in collaboration with QPAC presented the piece in concert form, with stripped-back staging and an onstage orchestra, to a full-of-life audience at QPAC’s concert hall.
Seeing the bones of how theatre is made is always such a special experience, and the on-stage orchestra was a particular treat. It provided moments of comedy when actors broke the fourth wall to interact with the musicians.
Audiences were also treated to Diana Tolmie’s conduction in full view, which was enchanting.
The orchestra was truly the highlight of the night, playing in full view of the audience to mesmerising effect. The music was sharp and jittery, evoking memories of nostalgic early Hollywood movie musicals, and bringing profound care to the quieter, romantic moments in the music.
Lighting design by Ben Hughes brought all the glamour and limelight this show needed and delivered some wonderful intimacy to moments between Kathy and Don in their sunset and moonlit love story.
Craig Wilkinson’s video design was at its absolute best for ‘Singin’ in the Rain: In Concert’, perfectly complementing the minimal set and transporting the audience through the iconic Hollywood locations. Most pivotally, these designs brought a new meaning to the phrase theatre magic with a rainy cityscape that synched with Lockwood’s whimsical dancing in the rain.
Anna Handford’s costume design was era-exact and transportive, shining particularly bright in the musical tribute to Broadway within the show. They pulled out all the stops with shimmering dance costumes and 1920s dapper menswear.
The leading man Don Lockwood, played by Bobby Fox, was charming, magnetic and highly likabile. Barely leaving the stage for the whole show, Fox played the moments of heart with care and the bold moments of hyperreality in the title number with an energy that filled the theatre, which was no easy feat considering the size of the venue.
Playing alongside him was Angelique Cassimatis as Kathy Seldon, who held her own in a role that can easily become a damsel in distress. She was powerful and statuesque, and the audience couldn’t help but root for their ultimate happy ever after.
Lina Lamont, the villainous but loveable starlet, played by Georgina Hopson with a tangible power and command over the audience, culminating in her side-splitting number, ‘What’s Wrong With Me?’. Her comedic powers were matched by Mark Hill’s Cosmo Brown, who skittishly raced from scene to scene, as the audience’s guide through the story, delivering classic slapstick comedy to rival the most infamous early film comedians.
An eleven-strong ensemble rounded out the cast, dancing to sparkling show tunes and forming the clownish crew on the many bustling movie sets. Technically, they were on point for every dance and song, and brought personality in bundles to every role in the show.
Prospero Art’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain: In Concert’ was a testament to how powerful simplicity and focus on performance can be in theatre. The stripped-back presentation allowed the substantial talent of the cast and musicians to shine through.
While no rain touched the QPAC stage, the audience was lifted to a thunderous standing ovation, a true marker of the absolute magic that theatre can deliver at any level.
‘Singin’ in the Rain: In Concert’ performed from the 11th-13th of November at QPAC. For more information visit QPAC’s website.