REVIEW: Singing In The Rain, Pendle Hippodrome

RAIN is pouring inside Colne’s Hippodrome Theatre this week as Hollywood comes to town.
CLASS CAST: The Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company cast for "Singin' in the Rain".CLASS CAST: The Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company cast for "Singin' in the Rain".
CLASS CAST: The Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company cast for "Singin' in the Rain".

“Singin’ In The Rain” has splish sploshed its way onto the Pendle Hippodrome stage for a five-day run and it had an exciting, colourful opening night.

The backstage team and whole company deserve a pat on the back for putting this together under the direction of Richard Sanderson and it was a technical triumph – apart from some issues with the sound and microphones and at time the orchestra drowned out the actor’s voices.

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But I’m sure these teething troubles were sorted and it did not detract from the enjoyment of the show. All the songs in this Hollywood blockbuster that has taken to the stage so well are good, and I found myself either singing or tapping along to them all, which is always a good sign.

The iconic scene when leading man Don Lockwood, played by Josh Hindle, performs “Singin’ In The Rain” as he splashes through the puddles was very well done. It was never going to be as good as the Gene Kelly film version, but no-one expected it to be, and it was fun and very entertaining. I bet Josh loved every minute of playing this scene.

“Singin’ In The Rain” is all about song and dance – forget the storyline – it is just fun to watch. The dancing is excellent, the Pendle Hippodrome chorus ladies looking stunning in their dazzling costumes and the tap dancing routines with the men are great fun. You just wanted them to do it all over again.

Josh Hindle takes on the leading role excellently because he is an all rounder who can sing, dance and act; but his sidekick Cosmo, played by Simon Jackson, was in danger of stealing the show for me. His comedy timing was great and all his routines were such fun, especially when he performed “Make ‘Em Laugh”.

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The two leading ladies also stood out. Cathryn Osborne is delightful as Kathy Shelden, the talented showgirl who really can sing and dance, but has to play second fiddle to Hollywood silent movie star Lina Lamont who has absolutely no talent at all, she just looks good. When the silent movie era is coming to an end and the audience want to hear Lina sing, they discover the lovely voice belongs to Kathy and that Lina has an horrendously awful screeching voice. Actress Helen Atkinson in her first principal role was terrific, she got it just right. The voice was so ear splitting she almost had us jumping out of our seats in surprise at times.

Eric Beardsworth obviously enjoys playing studio owner R F Simpson and does it convincingly while David Smith as the elocution teacher who has to tap dance, learned the skill for this show and was great when he joined the others in comedy tap routines.

The whole company have obviously worked so hard to bring us this show and on the night proved to be one big happy singing and dancing chorus. Their fabulous “Singin’ In The Rain” finale with umbrellas sent us all happily on our way at the end of a really entertaining show.

Margaret Parsons