How wonderful that BATS will open the celebrations for their 60th year with such an effervescent zinger of a show!
They’ve been very wise with their choice of production as Singin’ In The Rain has it all – wit, warmth and wonderful songs – and the talented members of the society make the most of its every moment. Their production wholly captures the spirit of the original 1952 film about the move from silent films to talking pictures in 1920s Hollywood.
There is so much to appreciate: the skill displayed by the principals; the glorious dance numbers, including some irresistible tap sequences; the incredible 'wet set' complete with rain; the clever use of filmed inserts; the many laughs (which often come courtesy of the accomplished and industrious supporting cast); and the myriad costume changes.
Bryn Hughes boasts a megawatt smile and phenomenal footwork as he brings matinee idol Don Lockwood to life whilst a brilliant Kirsty Bennett channels Miss Piggy and Betty Boop as his unfortunately voiced co-star Lina Lamont.
Anneka Wass (Kathy Selden) and William Keel-Stocker (Cosmo Brown) are making their BATS debuts and are both fantastic, utterly nailing their characters. There’s also lovely fizzy chemistry between the leading romantic pair, the key trio and best buddies Don and Cosmo, helping to fully ignite numbers such as the sublime Fit As A Fiddle and Good Mornin’.
A special mention must go to the ever-impressive Ian Moseley, who delivers both Beautiful Girl and a standout comic turn as the hapless Male Diction Coach in Moses Supposes.
It must have been incredibly hard work for director Ray Jeffery, assistant director Nick Brannam, musical director Trevor Defferd and choreographers Julie Morris and Karen McCloy to put it all together, but it has absolutely been worth it.
This winning show whets the appetite for what’s ahead in this landmark year (an Anvil concert on June 23 and Priscilla Queen of the Desert in November).
Congratulations BATS and thank you for your key contribution to the artistic life of the town. May the best be yet to come.