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9th May 2022

Manchester Opera House is making a splash

Singin’ in the Rain returns to the rainy city of Manchester, playing at the Opera House and starring Tony and Olivier nominee Adam Cooper, Ross McLaren and Jenny Gaynor
Manchester Opera House is making a splash
Photo: Singin’ in the Rain.

Manchester Opera House is bracing itself for rainy week – which is every week in Manchester, to be fair, but not every week sees the city graced by Singin’ in the Rain now, does it? What a glorious feeling!

A smash hit at Chichester Festival Theatre, in the West End, and most recently at London’s Sadler Wells, Jonathan Church’s critically acclaimed production of Singin’ in the Rain is touring the UK throughout 2022.

The stage musical premiered in the West End in 1983, before opening on Broadway in 1985. It returned to the West End in 1989 but did not tour the UK until 1994, before playing at the National Theatre in 2000 and Sadler’s Wells Theatre in 2004. In 2011, it played at Chichester Festival Theatre, before transferring to the West End in 2012 and touring the UK in 2013. A new production opened in Paris in 2015 – with plans to take it to Broadway, but these sadly did not come to fruition. The 2012 London production was revived at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in 2021 and is now back on a UK  tour – almost a decade after it last toured the nation!

The stage musical is based on the 1952 film of the same name, which offers a lighthearted depiction of Hollywood in the late 1920s, with the three stars portraying performers caught up in the transition from silent films to “talkies”. Directed and choreographed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, it starred Kelly as Don Lockwood, Donald O’Connor as Cosmo Brown, and Debbie Reynolds as Kathy Selden. Quite the cast, right?

The musical focuses on silent movie star Don Lockwood, who seemingly has it all: a string of hit films and a studio-engineered romance with the most beautiful actress in town. What Don doesn’t know is that the silver screen is about to find its voice, and a chance meeting with a talented young chorus girl set to steal his heart promises to change both Don, and Hollywood, forever.

7 decades later, Manchester Opera House welcomes you to travel back to the glamour of Hollywood during the roaring 20s – the 1920s, that is, for the 2020s are yet to roar…

Actor, choreographer, dancer, theatre director and Tony and Olivier nominee Adam Cooper will be playing the lead role in Manchester. On screen, Cooper is best-known for playing an adult Billy Elliot in – you guessed it – Billy Elliot. The female lead, Kathy Selden, is played by Charlotte Gooch. The main trio is rounded off with Ross McLaren (Doctors) as Cosmo Brown. Supporting character Lina Lamont, originally played by Jean Hagen, is played by Jenny Gaynor, best-known for her roles in musical theatre but also known for the TV film The Trial.

Cooper is one of the tour’s special guests – each playing one of the lead roles in select cities. Cooper is playing Lockwood in Woking, Manchester, Glasgow, Plymouth; Faye Tozer (Steps) plays Lina Lamont in Canterbury, Woking, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh, Newcastle; and Kevin Clifton (Strictly Come Dancing) plays Cosmo Brown in Bristol, Cardiff, Southampton, Liverpool, Glasgow.

Interestingly, Tozer is not playing the female lead but the musical’s second most notable female character. Fantastically talented as she is, I guess Tozer is used to playing second fiddle…

Singin’ in the Rain plays at Manchester Opera House from 9th until 14th May, before continuing its UK tour until August.

Jay Darcy

Jay Darcy

Theatre Editor. Instagram & Twitter: @jaydarcy7. Email: [email protected].

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