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Singin’ In The Rain to feature silent movies

Posted onPosted on 9th Feb

Silent movie extracts filmed in the grounds of Newstead Abbey are to feature in the latest show by Mansfield Operatic Society (MAODS).

Their production of Singin’ In The Rain will be at Mansfield Palace Theatre from 4th to 8th March.

Preparations for the show led several members of the cast to film the silent movie extracts in September 2019.

They support the story that captures the waning days of the silent movie screen era as it gives way to the new ‘talkie’ movies.

In doing so, Hollywood left behind some of its silent pictures stars, such as leading lady Lina Lamont, whose vocal tones and accent didn’t fit in with the new talking pictures.

Principal characters from MAODS’s Singin’ In The Rain visited Newstead Abbey to film melodramatic silent movie extracts, including The Royal Rascal, starring Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont. (Gene Kelly and Jean Hagen, with Debbie Reynolds playing the aspiring actress Kathy Selden, were in the original successful movie in 1952.)

The scenes, set in 19th Century revolutionary France, typify the classical romantic silent movie genre where the stock characters of melodrama play out the drama of good against evil.

The scene opens with Felipe Du Bois (Sean Curtis) and his lady love thwarted by the evil Gaspard de la Nuit (Simon Brickell) and his dastardly Muskateer Mob (Matthew Bird, Garry Richardson, Jamie Savage), who storm the castle grounds to kidnap the leading lady (Carolyn Frith, with Helen Mumby, her lady in waiting, and Ann Colgan, stunt lady).

The silent movies were filmed by Alex Abraham Videos Ltd and photographs taken by Simon Lovett and David Stringfellows.

Carolyn Frith, leading lady in Singin’ In The Rain, said: “It was wonderful to act in the grounds of Newstead Abbey in front of the passing general public, who were very supportive during the film takes and seemed to enjoy the action.”

The period costumes for the show were arranged by Amy Shaw, Cassey Brough Savage, Pam Frith and Carolyn Frith, members of MAODS, courtesy of Jolly Jesters, Alfreton, and Chameleons Fancy Dress Shop, Retford.

Director Ally Sadler added: “The range of skills required for this production, including filming the silent movie extracts at Newstead Abbey and working with a set that has real ‘rain’ effects that drain through a false floor for the iconic song, Singin’ In The Rain, have been exciting challenges for the society.

“Our Mansfield and community audiences are in for a big treat.”

Matthew Bird, chairman of MAODS, said the show includes some of the best known and loved comedy routines, dance numbers and love songs ever written, including Good Morning, Make ‘em Laugh and Singin’ In The Rain.

“It really is a fun, feel-good, happy show that will have you tapping your feet and singing along.”

Tickets for Singin’ In The Rain can be bought through MAODS or at Mansfield Palace Theatre Box Office. Call 01623 633133, drop in at the Box Office on Leeming Street or go to www.mansfieldpalace.co.uk

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