Formed in 1962 Quarry Bank Musical Theatre Society have been performing at Brierley Hill Civic Hall for four years. The Society, which was renamed in 2013 as QBMTS, has been donating money to local charities from its annual productions over their years of performing. The QBMTS production for 2019 is Singing in the Rain.
With a book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, lyrics by Arthur Freed and music by Nacio Herb Brown, Singing in the Rain the musical is based on the 1952 movie of the same name. The musical debuted in London’s West End in 1983 where it ran for two years. A revival in 2000 saw the production going on to win an Olivier award in 2001 for Best Musical Revival.
Set at the end of the silent movie era, glamorous on-screen couple Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are Monumental pictures biggest movie stars. When the first talking picture The Jazz Singer receives both critical and financial success, Monumental pictures makes the decision to turn their charismatic stars of the silent screen into stars of talking movies. With the studios lack of technical knowledge, a leading lady with the shrillest voice on the planet and a couple who hate each other off screen what on earth could go wrong?
Producer/Director Steve Ganner, Musical Director Richard Ganner and Choreography Donna Jones have created a delightful, charming production of this classic musical and film. With wonderful bright costumes and scenery, we were instantly transported to the glamour of Hollywood.
Richard Cope was the leading man Don Lockwood, the star of the Hollywood Hills. Cope gave a strong charismatic performance with his excellent vocals. His best friend and performing partner Cosmo Brown played by Danny Teitge was a huge audience favourite on the night, including ours, with his quirky, comedic, engaging performance.
The leading ladies, Francesca Handley as Kathy Seldon and Louise Griffin as Lina Lamont had excellent stage presence throughout. Handley was the epitome of grace in the role of Kathy, with her superb vocals and dance ability. Griffin had the audience laughing with her perfect shrill voice as the demanding star Lina, giving a memorable comedic performance.
Some of my favourite numbers of the night included All I Do Is Dream of You, Make ‘Em Laugh, The Broadway Ballet and Beautiful Girls. QBMTS have fantastic dancers and this really did stand out in the company numbers. This production also had an extremely strong supporting cast. There were also other elements that stood out in this production such as the creativity behind the film sequences by Jez Luckins, which had me in hysterics.
Acknowledgment and praise should also go to the Stage Crew, Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Manager of this production. The set changes were quick and flawless, making the production feel slick and professional, which is sometimes an extremely difficult feat in the world of Amateur Dramatics.
This was my first time seeing Singing in the Rain on stage, a film that is one of my absolute favourites and I was treated to a professional, delightful production that had me smiling throughout. I look forward to the company’s next production in 2020, Shrek The Musical.
QBMTS production of Singing in the Rain is at Brierley Hill Civic Hall from the 4th – 8th of June 2019.
We say: “QBMTS have delivered a delightful, charming production of this classic musical and film!”