Singin’ in the Rain
Mitch Sebastian’s ninth successive production at Kilworth House Theatre is glorious, radiating exuberance and exploiting every advantage of an outdoor stage purpose-built for musicals. Theatre here absorbs the natural surroundings, so that exits and entrances, songs and dances just seem to break out of nowhere and evolve without contrivance.
On Philip Witcomb’s lavish art deco set, Singin’ in the Rain is beautifully fluid and evocative of the period. Jenny Gayner gives a jewel of a performance as the squawking, hysterical Lina Lamont. Her every articulation is toe-curling, and the flickering, black and white movies that yield to the talkies are full of mischief. Comedy is paramount, much of it from Adam Margilewski as the irrepressible Cosmo Brown, exhibiting clever tomfoolery and high-energy movement in numbers like Make ‘Em Laugh. The tongue-twisting Moses Supposes, takes the place by storm with ever more inventive choreography.
Carolyn Maitland is Kathy Selden, the girl who really can sing. It’s a performance of purity and integrity. When she sings You Are My Lucky Star, her words seem to hang on the night air. She is well matched with Graham MacDuff as Don Lockwood, who executes the Singin’ In The Rain showpiece with abandonment in a technical tour de force.
The show never flags. It’s got glitz, glamour, high-speed tapping, big company numbers, a flamboyant orchestra and always something to catch the eye. As night falls here, the lighting gains impact and the pace gets hotter, culminating in an unexpected gold and silver finale.