PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: A Two-Show Day With West End Singin' in the Rain Star Louise Bowden
By Matthew Blank
Spend a day with West End star Louise Bowden, currently appearing as Kathy Selden in Singin' in the Rain, based on the classic film of the same name. She documents her pre-show and in-theatre rituals, introduces the cast and crew and shares some tricks of the trade.
Bowden's theatre work includes Judy Haynes in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Manchester Lowry, Sunderland Empire, Southampton Mayflower, Liverpool Empire and Dublin Grand Canal), Philostrate in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ragtime (Open Air, Regent’s Park), Meat in We Will Rock You (Dominion), Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins (UK tour), Florinda in Into the Woods (Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House, and Lowry, Manchester), Guys and Dolls (Piccadilly), Ali in Mamma Mia! (international tour) and Molly in On Eagle’s Wing (Odyssey Arena, Belfast).
The West End production of Singin' in the Rain, currently running at the Palace Theatre after transferring from Chichester Festival Theatre where it originated in the summer of 2011, is set to shutter June 8.
It will then embark on a major national tour, beginning performances at Manchester's Opera House Nov. 9, before touring to Cardiff's Wales Millennium Centre, Sunderland Empire, Nottingham's Theatre Royal, Edinburgh's Festival Theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome, Eastbourne's Congress, Liverpool Empire, Belfast's Opera House, Dublin's Bord Gais Theatre, Plymouth's Theatre Royal, Milton Keynes Theatre, Bristol Hippodrome, Glasgow's King's Theatre, Bradford's Alhambra Theatre and Southampton's Mayflower Theatre.
In a press statement, Rebecca Quigley, producer and managing director for Stage Entertainment UK, commented, "The first time I saw Singin' in the Rain at Chichester I knew we had to bring the show to the West End and, eventually, beyond. We've had a wonderful run at the Palace Theatre and everyone at Stage Entertainment is so proud to have been part of making it a hit there. I’d like to thank everybody at the theatre and every single member of the Singin’ family who’ve made the show the success it is - and of course the hundreds of thousands of smiling audience members who've been part of the experience. We're thrilled that the show will now set off around the country to delight and, in the case of some sections of the stalls, soak many more people to come!"
According to press materials, the production uses half a mile of flexible pipe work, a 10-ton water tank housed in the orchestra pit and a water system that creates a downpour from above and flooding from below the stage, "raining" (and recycling) over 12,000 litres of downpour per performance.
It is produced in the West End by Stage Entertainment UK and Chichester Festival Theatre. It is directed by Chichester's artistic director Jonathan Church and choreographed by Andrew Wright. The current West End company stars Adam Cooper, Louise Bowden and Stephane Annelli in the roles made famous by Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Conner in the 1952 MGM musical film. Also in the cast are Jennifer Ellison as Lina Lamont, Sandra Dickinson as Dora Bailey and Miss Dinsmore and Peter Forbes as RF Simpson. Tour casting is still to be announced.
The stage production of Singin' in the Rain is based on the classic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film and produced by arrangement with Maurice Rosenfield, Lois F Rosenfield and Cindy Pritzker Inc. This production is by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc. Music Published by EMI.
To book tickets for the remainder of the West End run, contact the box office on 0844 412 4656. For further details, visit www.singinintherain.co.uk.
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