Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Singin' in the Rain

I was first introduced to the film, 'Singin' in the Rain' by my best friend about ten years ago. She lent me her DVD, I watched it and then proceeded to dance down the road with ecstatic joy, much to my sister's horror! I had seen musicals before - I was raised on Disney classics, so was used to people bursting into song over a trip to the park or a new dress. But this 1952 film, I'm sure, could make even the grumpiest person smile. The wonderful songs and dances are so uplifting and the whole film is so colourful.

To say I am a fan of Gene Kelly would be an understatement. I adore him and all of his films. His and Donald O'Connor's dance numbers in the film are phenomenal. Watching this film all those years ago has made me a woman possessed! It opened my eyes to a whole era of films, music and fashion that I have now made it a mission to fill my life with. The 50s in particular, when Singin in the Rain was made, is my favourite era for fashion, films and music.

I was lucky enough to be taken to see the wonderful MGM film adapted for the stage in the Palace Theatre in London. We sat in the third row, so had a spectacular view of the stage and got very wet during the famous sequence in the rain!

It was a beautiful production. It varied from the film in certain places, which, as a fan of the film, I was unsure about to begin with. However, it worked well on stage and meant that there were still surprises for people who knew the film by heart, like myself.

The colour pallet was unexpected: I imagined it would be like the film but the set and the costumes were dark greys and subtle colours, like a back and white film or a stormy sky. The only colours that punctuated the monochrome setting were bright rainbow colours of the jazz age in the Broadway Melody number near the end.

The character, Cathy was dressed mainly in wonderful floaty pastel blues and pinks for the majority of the show, like the clouds when the sun sets. Her dresses were often embellished with gems so she shimmered when she danced. It was a wonderful touch that made her character really stand out.

The show was breathtaking from start to finish.

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