Singin’ in the Rain is the story of that first Hollywood musical, the moment when the silver screen found its voice and never looked back. With all the sparkle and spectacle of a golden age, it features a glorious score including Make ‘em Laugh, Good Morning, Moses Supposes and, of course, Singin’ in the Rain. Shining with vitality, wit and romance, this is a musical to lift your heart and set you singin’ and dancin’ – in any weather.
Chichester Festival Theatre’s 2011 production transfered to the Palace Theatre in the West End in 2012 and will tour from November 2013. Ian William Galloway created the movies, silent or otherwise, used in the story, with a location and studio film shoot produced by AWE.
The piece has a strange mix of a twenties setting, but with a fifties musical feel. We decided to run with this and produce silent films that were much more like high-end fifties action movies than what was really possible in the twenties. As a result, the design has a very authentic silver-screen feel which was picked up by many of the critics.
Of course, this makes for a huge film shoot, complete with musketeers, armouries and a castle location, and a ten metre rebuild of part of the on-stage set. We also create all the silent movies up to 27 times, for all the possible combinations of understudies and leads.
The design is terrific, the ensemble dances executed with verve and Ian William Galloway’s film inserts are remarkably authentic simulacra of old movies.
The video recreations of silent movies, with titles like The Duelling Cavalier, are also exceptionally well done by Ian William Galloway.
There’s some clever work with the film extracts. Ian William Galloway has made the most of the medium and captures the awkwardness of the era as the industry tries to move between silent movies and talkies.
The story of the arrival of talkies in Hollywood works surprisingly well on stage, with the help of hilarious black- and-white film sequences.