Friday, 26 October 2012

Singin' in the Rain?

So, let me start by saying something that my fella would find abhorrent. Well. Ummm.

I don’t really like the theatre

I don’ the theatre.

"Excuse me?"


I am, unashamedly, a child of the television era. I like my drama realistic and the acting believable. I struggle to take seriously the rounded plumy booming voices, exaggerated facial expressions and dramatic flourishes used on the stage. They irritate me. I laugh, scornfully. Yeah, I’m a bit of a dick like that.

I’m also especially riled by musical theatre. I just cannot understand people who clamour to get tickets to The Lion King, and, frankly I’d rather get my bikini line waxed than be forced to endure the sheer horror of "We Will Rock You”

Musical theatre face - I want to kick each one of them in the nads.

Tell me that these faces don't annoy you.


Finally, I don’t think classic films should be remade (read: tampered with).

So, you may well wonder why I accepted the offer of free tickets for Singin’ in the Rain.

Well – it was free, there was a free drink included, I’d get to catch up with some pals and...well...I was really hoping for a chance to write a scathing blog post about how dreadful I thought it was. I wanted to have a good old moan about the acting, the poor costumes, how they has ruined a classic...

I’m so very annoyed. So very, very annoyed, because, bugger me sideways, I really enjoyed it.

Yes, it was hammy, but it was meant to be – it is a script about hammy actors. Yes, there was singing, but I know all the songs from the film anyway.

So, yes, I admit it. I enjoyed a play.

What did I like about it? Well, the dancing was excellent, obviously not as good as the original movie as Gene Kelly cannot be matched, but still very impressive. Scarlett Strallon (part of the seemingly ever growing clan of Strallon sisters in the West end – are they cloned in a lab somewhere) makes an great Kathy and has a lovely singing voice. The costumes weren’t half bad either – some a little too 1930s for 1927 and some a little too short (flappers didn’t wear miniskirts – sigh) – but overall pretty good. The rain effect was impressive too and I very much enjoyed sitting in the dress circle with a great view, watching the first few rows of the audience get soaking wet. Hehheheheheheh.

What I didn’t like – well the first half was long. Usually a long first half is a good thing as my interest tends to wane in the interval, but thanks to the free wine I started needing the toilet at about an hour in. Another 30 minutes or so later the rain scene started. Cue myself and about 90% of the audience wriggling and wiggling in discomfort. Not the greatest plan really.

Also, somewhat controversially given her rave reviews, I was not greatly enamoured of Katherine Kingsley’s turn as Lina Lamont – the silent movie actress who finds her career in tatters when it turns out she can’t sing and has a Brooklyn accented speaking voice that clashes with her elegant film star persona. She was too shrill, too cartoonish, the voice so overblown as to render it humourless by the time of her turn to sing “What’s Wrong with Me.”

Oh, and the sunglasses they had her wear at the start of the play were just....wrong.

These are 20’s sunglasses:

These are not:

Ah, the white Rayban, as worn by Bieber and Paris Hilton. 
Impossible to wear without looking like an arse.

So.  As much as it pains me to say it, its a great show.

Go and see it.  Really.



  1. This post really made me chuckle, I hate the theatre also! I keep going, in an attempt to force myself to like it and keep up with these cultural things, but it always ends in either a) getting hideously drunk to cope with the ennui or b) falling asleep.

    I haven't been to any musical theatre though, so maybe I'll try just one more time...

    Porcelina xx

  2. Ah I love a bit of a show. I'm not precious about it though (although I prefer a straight down the line miserable violent tragedy to a family musical any day).

    I used to work in theatre and found too many people 'in the business' sparked incredible feelings of either rage or hysterical laughter (often at their musical theatre faces, not just reserved for when on stage).

  3. Hahahha you just wrote down what I always thought. I cannot stand theatre either... I have a deep rooted ( yes really, deep rooted ) hate for the way they behave on stage. Too much over exaggerative. Just like I can't stand mime players! Those are the ones I want to give a kick in the nads.

    Anyway, I haven't heard of this show yet, perhaps they do come to the Netherlands, and if you think this is a great show, it must be so. I want to experience for myself how it is to see a good theatre play, so I might see it when they do come over.

  4. We are a household divided by musical theatre. Some of us will happily spend the afternoon watching tap dancers while others would rather dig their eyes out with a spoon.

    Have you seen Cats? That should be your next test.

  5. Just saw Singing in the Rain a few days ago and quite enjoyed it too....though I do agree they over-did the Lamont character as it almost hurt to hear her shriek every time! But the original songs from the movie kept me smiling even after the show!

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