Fans of musical theatre might be advised to get their tickets early for Wellington Operatic Society’s production of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ at the Wellesley Theatre in May. Following the success of last year’s show, ‘Oliver’, which virtually filled the venue for all its performances, the company has earned a deserved reputation for excellent entertainment.
Leon Searle, who last month won the Somerset Federation of Drama Award as the Best Supporting Actor for his role as Bill Sykes in ‘Oliver’, heads the cast of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’. This time he is taking on the Gene Kelly role of Don Lockwood. Ian Jones received accolades for his stand-out performance as King Rollo in ‘Sleeping Beauty’ earlier this year and he follows this performance by playing Cosmo Brown. Beth Swan, who takes on the role of Lina Lamont, Don Lockwood’s co-star, may be remembered by Op Soc regulars for her performance as Ado Annie in ‘Oklahoma’. Abi Pring joins Op Soc for the first time to play the Debbie Reynolds’ role of Kathy Seldon. She has been involved in ‘quite a few’ productions with Tiverton Operatic Society and, as a dance teacher with Willow Tree Centre of Dance and Performing Arts, can bring professional expertise to the considerable dance demands of the show.
Op Soc’s Vice Chairman, John Walker, said, “We’ve never done this show before so it’s an exciting project. The lead actors have been joined by a cast of 30, directed and choreographed by Susan Green who is well known to our audiences. Musical Director Hillary Wickham and Tap Choreographer Maureen Leach complete the team. It’s really encouraging that we are attracting local thespians to Op Soc productions which shows how highly performance standards are regarded here.”
‘Singin’ in the Rain’ is one of the most successful musicals ever filmed. Set in the world of movies during the late 1920’s, Don Lockwood has risen to stardom during Hollywood’s silent-movie era – paired with the beautiful, dumb (and jealous) Lina Lamont. When Lockwood becomes attracted to young studio singer, Kathy Selden, Lamont has her fired. But with the introduction of talking pictures, audiences laugh when they hear Lamont speak in her shrill voice for the first time and Lockwood finds his career in jeopardy – until the studio decides to use Selden to dub Lamont’s voice.
Performances are from Tuesday 6th to Saturday 10th May at 7:30 pm with a matinee performance on Saturday at 2:30 pm. The Box Office for ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ opens on Saturday 12th April at Cloud 9, Fore Street Wellington or by phone on 01823 663597. Tickets are £9 with concessions (£7) on Tuesday and Saturday.