Singin’ In The Rain star pleased to return to Woking

GENE Kelly, a lamppost and pouring rain… it’s one of the most iconic scenes in film history. So being asked to re-create it live on stage was a daunting task for Adam Cooper.

“The first time I did it, I was a bit daunted to be following in Gene Kelly’s footsteps,” admits the actor and dancer who’s about to play Don Lockwood in Singin’ In The Rain. “But what I tried to do was ignore the fact he’d ever done it before and treat it like a new show.

Adam Cooper and co-star Charlotte Gooch get close under an umbrella in Singin’ In The Rain

“I hadn’t seen the movie for a few years, and I didn’t rewatch it because I wanted to do it my way and try not to be compared to Gene Kelly because he’s incomparable really.

“There are a few surprises in there for people who know the film, such as the inclusion of You Stepped Out of A Dream in the first act. And I think the biggest surprise is just how much rain falls on the stage. People are generally blown away by that, like ‘How the hell do you dance in it?’”

So, how do you dance in it?

Adam laughs: “It’s taken a bit of practice, I have to say! When we first did it with all that rain at Chichester, for the 2011 revival, I fell over a number of times because certain sections of the stage would get more slippery than others.

“When we transferred to the West End we made sure it was a lot more stable and since then, touch wood, I haven’t fallen. What I especially love about that part of the show is the interaction with the audience because you don’t get that in many shows.

“I love seeing the expression on their faces, the joy or sometimes the horror of getting wet. And, usually, people who have seen the show who come back again specifically ask for front row seats because they want to be a part of it.”

The good thing is the water is heated for the performers’ comfort, although Adam says:In the winter it always feels a bit colder than it does in the summer. In summer it’s lovely to be refreshed because you’re so hot from having done four big dance numbers beforehand.”

Singin’ In The Rain centres on Don, a Hollywood movie star who feels misunderstood.

Adam explains: “He enjoys all the fame that goes with the movie star lifestyle, but he finds it all a bit superficial, so when he finds a girl called Kathy who connects with him on a different level to all the other people in Hollywood he has to pursue her.

“He also has a great relationship with his best friend Cosmo and eventually the duo becomes a trio, which gives Don a joy he’s never experienced before.

“As a show, it’s so uplifting and particularly since all the lockdowns and restrictions it’s the sort of show everybody needs right now. It takes people’s troubles away for two and a half hours and reaffirms the joy in life one can have.

“That’s what people tell me, and I think it has that effect more so than any other show I’ve ever done.”

Singin’ In The Rain will be at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, from Monday to Saturday next week, 28 March to 2 April.

Adam is doubly pleased to be dancing in the town. “I’ve performed in Woking a few times before,” he said. “I did Zorro The Musical there a few years ago and I’ve done a couple of galas in Woking. It’s a lovely theatre and you always get good audiences.”

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