Singin' In The Rain Icon

Palace Theatre

Shaftesbury Avenue W1V 8AY

Singin' In The Rain

Palace Theatre 3D location mapMap ©Silvermaze Ltd 2008 Palace Theatre photoPhoto ©Tony Reading 2008

Show Details

Preview 4th Feb 12
Opens 15th Feb 12
Closes 8th Jun 13

Show Times

Mon & Tues 7.00 pm
Weds - Sat 7.30 pm
Matinée Weds & Sat
3.00 pm
Length of show - 2hrs 30mins

Local Info

Top Class restaurants nearby;

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21 Monmouth Street
020 7836 7243

Loch Fyne (Fish & Seafood)
2 - 4 Catherine Street
020 7240 4999
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A classic viewing of all the Theatreland play houses by night. The authentic commentary, by Ben Shafik - a player himself - gives an authentic feel to the West End's theatres - and is backed by real music.
Next version will be more upbeat as, suggested, to celebrate Britannia's unbeatable heritage.
(Over 6000 viewings and all good reviews to date).
Let us know what you think.

A note from the author

I took these pictures to show off London theatres as they are seen -most often - by theatre goers, at night.

Thanks to Ben Shafik for his lighthearted and informative commentary and Fionn O'Lochlainn for the original music.

Watch out for the new version with current liveries and the names of the theatres as they appear.




  • Adam Cooper - Don Lockwood
  • Stephane Annelli - Cosmo Brown
  • Louise Bowden - Kathy Seldon
  • Jennifer Ellison - Lina Lamont
  • Peter Forbes - RF Simpson
  • Sandra Dickinson - Dora Bailey/Miss Dinsmore
  • Other cast members include
    • Jaye Juliette Elster
    • Peter Forbes
    • Gemma Fuller
    • Francis Haugen
    • Katherine Kingsley
    • David Lucas
    • Scott Mobley
    • Ebony Molina
    • Gillian Parkhouse
    • Sherrie Pennington
    • Lisa Ritchie
    • Nancy Wei George

  • Jonathan Church - Director
  • Simon Higlett - Design
  • Tim Mitchell - Lighting
  • Andrew Wright - Choreography
  • Matt McKenzie - Sound
  • Producer - Stage Entertainment / Chichester Festival Theatre

Singin In The Rain - Rose


Singin in the Rain is show business about show business the plot of which is best read in Wikipedia.  Its a bit like the plot of the new film 'The "Artist'.   The showbiz nobs love stuff about them which gives it a head start already.  In a nutshell it's about people falling in love throughout the steeplechase of complexities due to jealousy, uncertainty, competitiveness and being RIGHT. and other modern explanations for the same old scenario of human mating rituals that has been going on for millennia with a new frame around the same story presented in different costumes and settings throughout the ages.

Singin In The Rain - Robert Powell

Personally I prefer Ginger Rogers dresses and choreography to harsh words in suspenders and knickers but clearly not everybody would agree - the rich old codgers are winning in the days of scarcity of wads. I think Fred Astaire summed it up most elegantly:

“The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”

So Singin' in the rain is hardly about the story.  Those who earn their living working hard in the fields or the factories or the offices or on boats seek inspiration and to be entertained by artists - especially dancers who can also sing - or singers like Olympic gymnasts .  It's a sure-fire combination to take the minds off the mines.

“Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did.  She just did it backwards and in high heels.”

The simple fact is that art - especially dancing and music - feeds the part of us that makes us human. Add politics, comparisons, competition and limpet like hope (for the glamour of 'rags-to-riches') and you have a maelstrom of pretense and posturing that has the Muse wafting out of the nearest window to become a small cloud of dust on the distant horizon.

Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire started it all off and Gene Kelly raised his top hat to that.  They set the standard for many generations to come.

It still fascinates us (the public that is) to watch again and over again. You have to give credit to the entertainers who live to please. They work hard to find new angles, effects and even special effects.

Singin In The Rain - Chorus

The promoters work hard to instill expectation and excitement to get the crowds along.  The critics work hard to give plaudits and awards (or not) to individuals.  Since Decca Records dismissed the Beatles AND guitar bands as well - we can all relax.  The very big boob has already been made.

The players are often a set of cogs in the machinery that is, nowadays controlled by how much money the show will make. Without a crowd it won't make any.   As Shakespeare said "those who live to please must please to live".

How do you please the public? What makes someone get up from in front of the telly, travel to a playhouse and pay to sit and watch the artists in whatever grand setting they can manage? Is it the novelty of rainfall on stage?  Maybe for some.

Singin In The Rain - Rain Dance

Art -  that is what draws people - even to the sports arenas where you can see beauty in the style and skill of those players too.

It has eventually become clear that the artists made the show great to start with whatever the story may be. It is the actor who created that universal resonance that nobody can fully explain.  It is the singer behind the song - the wit behind the words and the 'je ne sais quoi' behind the canvas.  All the king's horses could not make a massive hit from Tommy Steel's stage version in the 80's following a quintessential movie.  Oh dear the lamp post failed. Codgers with wads go 'Drat'.

Once established we call the artists legends, the greats the icons but what actually makes a great artist great in the first place?

The muse has NO formula while people need A formula badly. This is because most folk only want to like (let alone buy) tickets (recordings/books/paintings) of the already popular. Why? It's not just a question of 'baaaaaa' but because humans are drawn through the ethers - whatever the press - to the energy that ART inspires.  In addition the audience give something too. The group is a pivotal part of any performance as Shakespeare knew well. ("Friends, Romans, Countrymen"). As for artistic endeavour - where would we be without original art? The Romans are still scratching their - er ...helmets on this one. Where would the originators be without us?

Singin in the Rain was-and is-just such a legend.  It was a fantastic success from the start and has, as a result hit a familiar chord that has been copied, parodied, mimicked to the extent that swinging around a lamp post with an umbrella has become a Hollywood symbol of a typical musical.  It has become a part of our culture - hey even Jackie Chan swung on lamposts.

The theatre is a place where the recreation of great artistry in acting, dancing and singing can be experienced and marveled at and sung along with.  Singin in the Rain is one that IS already popular.  You can be a part of this established legend by being there too - and perhaps answer some of the questions about what makes the great GREAT.

Just what IS it that's so great about this spectacular rose? Yes it was named 'Singin in the Rain'.... which helped make the rose popular as well.

© 2017 Updated 6th Oct 2013