West End: Singin' In The Rain
Jennifer Ellison makes a splash
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Any show that plays in the West End's Palace Theatre is going to drag in a big gay following. The Palace Theatre being, for those who don't know, in the heart of London's gay village of Soho. So it was with anticipation that we went along to watch the relaunch of the show, now starring Brookside babe Jennifer Ellison.
Adapted from the 1952 Gene Kelly film, this stage version features many scenes inspired from the classic movie, as well as some scenes taken directly from it - including, thankfully, the famous Singin' In The Rain scene itself. Thankful, at least, for anybody not sat in the from eight rows. It really does pour in this show, with 12,000 glorious litres of water poured on stage, and a good chunk of that splashed on the front rows of the audience. Serves them right for showing off with the posh seats.
Jennifer Ellison also now plays the silent screen superstar Lina Lamont. And as someone known for her sultry looks, this is a role she takes to naturally. For those who haven't seen the film, Lamont finds herself stuck between eras, as the silent screen transitions into the 'talkies'. It turns out talking pictures aren't Lamont's strength and she needs someone dubbed over to sing for her. Which, for those who remember Ellison's own pop attempts, is uncannily true to life…
What Jennifer Ellison can definitely do, though, is act. Ellison brings a warmth and sprite to the show, with great comic timing and an impressive stage presence. More impressive considering that, on the night GT saw her, she had been suffering from a throat infection. We love a trooper.
GT gives it ****
Singin' In the Rain is on at The Palace Theatre Monday - Saturday, with tickets starting at a very decent £15. Pick 'em up here.
Words: Benjamin Butterworth / @benjaminbutter