A Star is born in this rain

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Singing in the Rain - Lowther Pavilion, Lytham

Audiences are coming out of this theatre with one name on their lips – Joe Appleton.

Strikingly tall, always elegant and equally effortless in his dancing, singing and acting Appleton gives a virtuoso performance and leads an excellent cast superbly, without suffocating his fellow principals.

Sophie Boan is assured in her neatly contrasting and complementary performance, with strong singing and expressive voice and movement

Producer Phil Hemming wisely chooses not to try to create an imitation of Gene Kelly’s brilliant dancing in the 1952 film’s title number but, with a sure touch, enables his cast to put their own stamp on the show.

Stuart Harland is dynamic, Tony Wedge authoritative and Mandy Hall so shrill, shrieking and dumb that you almost feel sorry for her at the end.

Musical director Stewart Bell and choreographer Sue Mather deal skillfully with a show with relatively few ensemble songs and much tap dancing. The chorus and dancers do seize their chances, especially in the finale.

A few too many sound glitches will no doubt be ironed out and scene changes speeded up as Lytham Amateur Operatic Society develop one of their best shows of recent years, fronted by a young man with considerable star quality.