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Review: Singin' In The Rain

Palace Theatre, London W1

    Making a splash: Adam Cooper, Scarlet Strallen and Daniel Crossley
    Making a splash: Adam Cooper, Scarlet Strallen and Daniel Crossley

    Let's face it - no matter how funny the rendition of Make 'em Laugh; how perky the performance of Good Morning; how much the duet You Were Meant for Me makes you swoon, the success of this stage version of Gene Kelly's great 1952 MGM musical was always gong to rest on one song. And when Singin' in the Rain comes, heralded by an instant monsoon that floods the stage, it unleashes a tide of unadulterated pleasure.

    It is here that the show's star hoofer, Adam Cooper, allows his languid grace to give way to some joyous puddle-splashing. The spray had the audience in the stalls reaching for their coats, though no one left.

    In Jonathan Church's irresistible production, first seen at Chichester, Cooper is eminently watchable yet comes nowhere near the watchability of Kelly himself. An unfair point, perhaps. Yet the performances by Daniel Crossley as the side-kick to Cooper's silent screen star, and Scarlet Strallen as starlet Kathy, are so astoundingly good, you do not think of how far they are from the original brilliance of Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds, you think, crikey, look how close they get.

    It is a must-see, though punters in the posh seats would do well to take a brolly. (www.palacetheatrelondon.org)

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