Octagon Theatre Bolton - Singin in the Rain portrait

The Octagon Theatre have announced the spectacular cast for the forthcoming iconic musical Singin’ in the Rain (Fri 3 – Sat 25 June 2016) – a brand new actor-musician production co-produced with New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Salisbury Playhouse.

Based on the exceptional Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film, Singin’ in the Rain follows the lives of Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont, 1920s stars of the silver screen, who are loved by audiences and studio executives alike, but barely tolerate one another. Linked romantically to heighten their popularity, the couple could not be more different, and humble Don can’t help but clash with his shallow and vain leading lady.

But the introduction of a new era of ‘talkies’ is about to set the pair even more at odds – spelling disaster for Lina, whose vocal range leaves a lot to be desired. Desperate for the box office favourites to remain at the height of popularity, a talented chorus girl, Kathy, is brought in to provide Lina’s audio, setting off a series of events that no movie exec could have scripted…

Starring as all-singing, all-dancing Don Lockwood is Matthew Croke (Funny Girl, Menier Chocolate Factory; Wicked, Apollo Victoria; West Side Story, UK Tour; Chicago, Cambridge Theatre), joined by Christian Edwards (Oliver! Theatre Royal Drury Lane, West End; Les Misérables, Queen’s Theatre; Radio Times and SPEND! SPEND! SPEND!, Watermill Theatre and UK tour) as Don’s best friend Cosmo Brown. Eleanor Brown (White Christmas, Pitlochry Festival Theatre; Crush, Belgrade Theatre/Big Broad Productions; Sleeping Beauty, Everyman Theatre and Cheltenham; Mamma Mia!, international tour) plays Kathy Selden, with Sarah Vezmar (Tipping the Velvet, Lyric Hammersmith; Hindle Wakes and Alice in Wonderland, Octagon Theatre Bolton; The Comedy of Errors and The Secret Garden, Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, Chester; Refugee Boy, West Yorkshire Playhouse & UK Tour) as haughty Lina Lamont. Matthew James Hinchliffe (Sweet Charity, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich; Calamity Jane, UK tour; Fiddler on the Roof, UK tour; Thoroughly Modern Millie, Watermill Theatre; Peter Pan – The Musical, Queens Theatre), Helen Power (Of Thee I Sing, Royal Festival Hall; Chicago, Oldham Coliseum; A Winter’s Tale, Landor Theatre; Thoroughly Modern Millie, Watermill Theatre; Carmen, Stephen Joseph Theatre), and Philip Starnier (Maigret, ITV; Timeplays, Hampton Court Palace; The Canterbury Tales, Guilford Shakespeare Company; Private Lives, MTP; Doctors and Sherlock, BBC) play Rod, Dora, and R.F Simpson, respectively.

Completing the cast is Richard Colvin (The Borrowers, New Vic Theatre; Before the Night is Through, Landor Theatre; Privates on Parade, Theatre Royal Brighton; A Government Inspector, Northern Broadsides), Barbara Hockaday (Alice in Wonderland and Love Story, Octagon Theatre Bolton; Rebecca, Kneehigh; James and the Giant Peach, Mercury Theatre Colchester; The Funfair, HOME; The Threepenny Opera, Graeae/Ipswich New Wolsey and Tour), Wendy Paver (The Ballad of Rudy, Regional Tour/Goblin Theatre; Alice in the Walled Garden, Sixteenfeet Productions; Lady Windamere’s Fan, A Chorus of Disapproval, and Hello Dolly, Pitlochry Festival Theatre), Richard Reeday (James and the Giant Peach, Mercury Theatre; Little Shop of Horrors, Salisbury Playhouse & Mercury Theatre; Betty Blue Eyes, UK tour; The Hired Man, Off-Broadway, New York, Leicester Curve & Mercury Theatre), and Sally Cheng (On The Town, Sister Act, The Addams Family, The Other School,The Orestia, Guilford School of Acting), making her professional debut, all as cast.

Director Elizabeth Newman, Artistic Director of the Octagon Theatre, commented: “We are absolutely thrilled to be making Singin’ in the Rain – it is a favourite for so many people, and understandably so. We hope to grip audiences all over the country with the magnificent music, entertaining story and iconic dance routines, and it’s an honour to be bringing it all to life with

Salisbury Playhouse and New Vic Theatre. The exceptional creative team can’t wait to work with such a talented company of multi-instrumental actors, most of whom are incredibly experienced at making great musical theatre, and all of whom are bringing something truly special to our stages.”

Made famous by the stunning tap dance routines and memorable music, Singin’ in the Rain will be performed in all of its technicolour, and occasionally rain-drenched, glory. With orchestration and musical direction from Richard Reeday, and a dazzling arrangement of the original score for an astonishing cast of twelve, audiences will be treated to thrilling performances of definitive dance and big band numbers as have never been seen before!

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