Who would have thought it, there was still rain in Bolton on the hottest day of the year!
On Monday evening I was surrounded by several hundred people in the auditorium of the intimate and friendly Octagon Theatre, Bolton, which transported us back to the 1952 film Singin’ in the Rain. From the moment I arrived at the theatre with my husband Michael the staff were more than welcoming and great hosts to what became a lovely evening.
It soon transpired from the opening introduction by the multi-talented orchestra that they were to become the twelve strong cast of the show. Each and everyone one played an endearing character that you couldn’t help love from the beginning to the end. Credit must go to the casting director Danielle Tarento for choosing the perfectly matched talent for each individual role.
This love story kept me transfixed from the moment I set eyes on Don Lockwood played by Matthew Croke and even more so from the first time Eleanor Brown, who plays Don’s love interest Kathy Selden, walks onto the stage. Dance plays a major part of this show with a variety of different genres the choreography is spot on and makes you feel like getting up to dance.
I heard my husband laughing on many occasions during the show at the slapstick comedy throughout the performance, provided mainly by the character Cosmo. The comedy factor gave the performance an extra jewel in this crown of a show. However my attention was definitely drawn to the character Lina, who was a comical genius with her unique tones. Actress Sarah Vezmar must be commended for her well-maintained character throughout the whole play. Singin’ in the rain definitely brought a splash of humour to the audience.
The biggest question on my lips was “Is it actually going to rain indoors?” I was intrigued to see how this would develop and I really wasn’t disappointed at all – The Octagon Theatre actually brought us rain. On this occasion, however, the rain brought joy and fun, unlike the miserable rain we usually experience on the streets of Bolton.
Photo credit: Richard Davenport
Whilst taking us through the journey and transition from silent movies to musical theatre on screen, the outstanding talent of each actor shone through the rain. The main character Don was a cheeky chap in a number of scenes and the audience got to experience his cheekiness in full flow, as well as some of his amazing singing and dancing skills. His character appears to have everything in life apart from the one thing that we all desire, love. Seeing Don falling in love with Kathy makes you want to reminisce about the time that we ourselves fell head over heels in love and nothing else in the world mattered.
There were so, many highlights throughout the show to pick from, but if I had to choose one out it would have to be with that fantastically joyous song “Good Morning”. This scene was just before the end of act one and made me feel happiness and the desire to sing along with the characters. This led us straight into the most famous song, Singin’ in the Rain, and a spectacular end to the first half.
The show was full of humour, romance and plenty of Singin’ in the Rain – what more could you want from this heart-warming performance? I must say that the show is definitely worth a visit to cool you down during this current heatwave.
The show, directed by the beautiful and talented Elizabeth Newman, is on at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton until Saturday 25th June 2016. For more information or to book tickets visit www.octagonbolton.co.uk