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Review: Singing in the Rain, Mullingar Arts Centre

Tuesday, 10th October, 2017 12:27pm

Review: Singing in the Rain, Mullingar Arts Centre

Orla O'Dea

A timeless musical classic full of dynamic dancing, melodious singing and hilarious slap stick humour, Mullingar Musical Society’s ‘Singing in the Rain’ is not to be missed.

Directed by Jemma McNamee we are brought back to Hollywood of the 1920s, the world of flappers, jazz and the dawning of a new era with ‘the talkies’ as silent movies are replaced by sound.

The onscreen ‘romance’ of Don Lockwood (Delvin’s Conor Leavy) and Zara Fitzgerald playing Lina, cultivated for press purposes, is brought vividly to life. Full of comedy and romance Fitzgerald’s performance as the domineering, grating Lina is hugely entertaining from her ability to speak correctly into a microphone much to director Rosco Dexter’s (James Elliffe) frustration, to her incessant insistence she is Don’s fiancée.

The dramatic tension mounts as Don falls hopelessly in love with Cathy (Sarah Jane Mangan) their relationship is full of romance with high quality singing and dancing as their love story unfolds surrounded by the chaos of Hollywood and all of its superficialities.

Musically directed by Lorcan Daly and choreographed by Aimee MacManus, highlights include memorable numbers like ‘Fit as a fiddle’, a particularly impressive ‘Make ‘em laugh’ as full of energy and synchronised dancing as it was harmonious and comically timed to the last second. A miscalculated pie in the face of Lina to an elocution lesson that burst into song to great comic effect with Adam O’Connor’s wonderful playing of Cosmo, all combined to add to this hilarious romantic comedy.

The action was fast paced and fast moving, with dynamic set changes that seamlessly took us from a glamorous celebrity party, to a lonesome bus stop, to the bright lights of Broadway.

This colourful and effective set designed by Sean Lynch created perhaps the most iconic scene of this musical with ‘Singing in the Rain’ beautifully, where the heavens opened to rain down on Don in his brightly coloured yellow raincoat and that most memorable street lamp in the background.

Our outstanding leading roles were supported by a chorus of musical talent that added greatly to every piece, aurally and visually with sparkling dazzling costumes that really brought this world to life.

Interaction and witty dialogue between the stars and their colleagues in the movie industry such as Jemma Curran as Dora, Ray Purcell as RF Simpson struggling to be in charge, and Shane Barkey’s PR concerns as Rod, all combined to create bring the world of movies its power struggles and high drama to life. A show not to be missed, the crowd were on their feet, for the musical and dramatic talent in this high quality, feel good production.

The show runs until October 14 booking: www.mullingarartscentre.ie/04493-47777.

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