Singin' in the Rain
Memorial Hall, Royal Wootton Bassett
Wootton Bassett Light Operatic Society's splendid production of Singin' in the Rain was a worthy 40th anniversary celebration for this popular amateur company. WBLOS, founded in 1977, aboard HMS Jubilee, a float in the High Street, for the Queen's Silver Jubilee, continues to go from strength to strength.
Singin' in the Rain charts the challenges of the late 1920's, when talking pictures revolutionised the world of silent movies. Film stars Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont, played by Paul de Boer and the fantastic Amanda Harper, look good, but their future in talkies is doomed by Lina's excruciating voice and inability to sing in tune.
She would never countenance dubbing, but Monumental Studios, desperate to counter keen competition, have no option.
Talented WBLOS newcomer Laura Coates as Kathy Selden, performing unseen, behind a screen, is the perfect solution. She also wins the heart of Don Lockwoo and, ultimately, Lina's pent-up fury.
The well-costumed show, ably directed by Marion Aspell and Stuart Dark, with musical director Richard Abrams, had a fine 12-piece orchestra, well placed at the rear of the stage. Strong individual performances, and excellent crowd scenes, were complemented by a lively chorus and slickly choreographed dance numbers,
The filmed sequences are brilliantly contrived, and the show brims with comedy, romance and intrigue. A three dozen strong cast includes memorable ensembles in a thoroughly entertaining production that delighted the large first night audience on Thursday. The show runs until Saturday night.