IT'S a timeless toe-tapper of a show which, if anything, gets better with age. 

Singin' in the Rain opened in Southampton to a rapturous reception from an enchanted audience who knew exactly what to expect and were tittering at the one-liners, singing along to the big numbers and waiting with barely disguised glee to see if they would be soaked in the 'splash zone' at the front of the auditorium. 

There's nothing ground-breaking here, but this is a delightful step back in time to the roaring 20s as Hollywood was turning its attention from silent movies to the talkies. 

Strictly Come Dancing star Kevin Clifton's slapstick version of Make 'Em Laugh is an absolute joy which is brilliantly executed. His character is a delight with briliant quips and wonderful comic timing throughout. 

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But I think even his moves are outshone by Sam Lips who, as Don Lockwood, looks like he's having the time of his life skipping and dancing his way through the puddles while kicking water out over a delighted audience. 

He enjoys beautiful chemistry with Charlotte Gooch (Kathy Selden) who has a terrific vocal range.

The trio singing Good Morning as they danced around the street was a stand-out moment and the whole cast is exceptionally strong, making the ensemble pieces really enjoyable. 

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Jenny Gayner also deserves special mention as the appalling Lina Lamont whose high-pitched voice is so bad it's good.

The plot is somewhat abandoned in the second act in favour of some big dance numbers in dream sequence, but my definite highlights were Moses Supposes, Good Morning and the first outing of the title number, which all come towards the end of the first act. 

The costumes are bursting with colour and the set is complete art deco heaven. 

In fact, it's rather difficult not to get a 'glorious feeling' from this infectiously joyous piece of theatre. The whole show certainly made a splash with the audience. 

  • Singin' in the Rain runs until Saturday. Tickets are on sale now from or 023 8071 1811

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