Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society

Singin' In The Rain (May/June 2010)

We had a terrific week playing to appreciative audiences, and the feedback we received was fantastic . This production was in the capable hands of the same team who masterminded our very successful My Fair Lady last year. (Director Chrissie Robertson, Musical Director, Geoff Davidson and Choreographer, Carole Beatty).  Adapted from the 1952 movie of the same name, starring of course Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor, the show includes such classics as Make 'Em Laugh, You AreMy Lucky Star, Good Morning and of course the title number made famous by Gene Kelly and more recently Morecambe and Wise! And we really were "singin' in the rain" as the Cromer stage featured the famous rain sequence. The choice of show proved to be a popular one with our audiences and having never performed it before, 2010 is shaping up to be another exciting and hopefully successful year.

This is what the paper said: (Richard Batson - Eastern Daily Press 31st May 2010)

Outside bank holiday trippers were dodging the showers. Inside this talented am-dram group were singing and dancing in the rain. This ambitious show included the famous Gene Kelly scene with the star splashing around in a downpour and puddles thanks to a piece of plumbing costing thousands of pounds for a brief but signature moment.

But the stunning part about this production by the Cromer and Sheringham Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society is how a cast of amateurs of differing abilities, ages and sizes have been glued together into a spectacular, slick and entertaining show.

There are stars on the stage, headed by the sweet-voiced and fleet-of-foot Katie Woodhouse playing Kathy Seldon the small time jobbing actress who provides the voice for silent movie siren Lina Lamont when the advent of the talkies exposes her fingernails-down-the-blackboard vocal cords. Sinead Merron is superb in that raucous role, and her What is Wrong with Me solo shows it is more than just a shallow cameo.

Max Murphy impresses with his all round vocals, acting and dancing as the cool leading man Don Lockwood. Lee Chapman is a perfect knockabout foil Cosmo Brown, bringing down the house, and nearly his trousers.

 All credit to director Chrissie Robertson for scaling this mountain of an all-singing all-dancing show, which involved 14 scene changes in a cinematic first half. There were a few tuning and timing hiccups on opening night, but this breathless bit of Broadway, which runs until Saturday, June 5, is guaranteed to send the crowds away happy.

Our chosen charity for our Gala opening night was the Norwich based Nelson's Journey. The charity supports children and young people under the age of 18 who live in Norfolk, who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life Eg: parent or sibling. We were delighted to donate £500 to them on our opening night and this is being generously boosted by our audiences by way of a bucket collection at each of our performances. That raised a further £1500. So a huge thank you to all those who gave so generously.

Sue Dupont - NODA East rep writes.....

The production team of Chrissie, Geoff and Carole inspired the very talented cast and pulled out all the stops for a professional and dazzling show which sparkled not just with raindrops: technically it was an amazing achievement on the Pier stage, and on stage the casting was ideal with vocals matched with vibrant energy and a feast for eye and ear...... 

Max Murphy as Don Lockwood was quite outstanding in his role: smooth singing, tapping feet (even in the rain) rhythm in music and movement, and the likeable personality. Well matched from the start by the energy, voice, and comedy timing (and mobile face) of Lee Chapman as Cosmo, this has to be his perfect role, especially in "Make 'Em Laugh". And   Katie Woodhouse had the golden voice, the smooth dancing and magical tapping feet, the very credible feeling through the acting and lovely duets to match Kathy with Don, the music a joy for all in the audience to enjoy; and lead trio of players had something special as they said "Good Morning". What can one say about Sinead Merron as Lina Lamont, how could she sustain that appalling voice and look so perfect throughout, and her number "What’s Wrong With Me?" just polished that excellent performance...... 

And for the icing on that cake, add a motivated, mobile, strong singing, vivacious team of chorus and dancers, including 12 brilliant tappers, certainly "Broadway Melody" deserved all that applause for the company.

Special congratulations are due to the efficiency, rapidity and slickness of the stage crew...... And not forgetting the "rain truck" which was a miracle performed.......impressed to see that from MFL, Higgins, Pickering and Doolittle were part of this hard working black-clad team, and shows true company spirit. Must also congratulate Peter Stibbons on those superb silent film sequences, the cherry on top of the icing!