WE all need a smile on our faces these days  - a warm take-our-woes-away dose of West End magic and bucket loads of Broadway joy.

It's here ... and if you sit in the first few rows of the Empire, then bring an umbrella.

This is a fabulously fun-soaked celebration of the famous 1952 musical turned into a vast, visual theatrical stage treat.

Jonathan Church's production is timeless.

Set in 1929 - when the sign 'Hollywoodland' stood proudly on a Los Angeles hill top -  it tells the story of the unsteady birth and teething troubles  of talking pictures.

The film starred creative choreography genius Gene Kelly and the formidable  song and dance man Donald O'Connor.

They set the benchmark for theatre productions to follow and remain the templates to live up to with similar zest and enthusaism.

The current touring show has a hugely talented cast who make their own mark on the diverse range of characters.

Don Lockwood - our likeable hero - was played on opening night by Peter Nash.

This versatile actor is a true star and his all-dancing, all-singing rendition of the title song as he splashed about on the huge stage. It is an utterly delightful sequence.

He made the sell-out audience laugh out loud with his comic moments with the diva-like Brooklyn star Lina Lamont played with wonderful comic timing by Jenny Gayner.

And Peter hit all the right notes with his romantic lead Charlotte Gooch as the adorable songstress Kathy Selden.

Kevin Clifton shines as nice guy Cosmo - Don's best pal. His energetic, classic number Make 'Em laugh is one of many highlights in a two and three quarter hour show - with  an interval - where some drenched audience members dried out.

Don, Cosmo and Kathy join together on the ever-infectious Good Morning. And you can't  help singing along - even without an umbrella .

And great to see Sandra Dickinson as feisty radio hostess Dora.

In fact nobody puts a foot wrong

An on stage band are top notch and Sam Higlett deserves a design Oscar for his enormous set recreating the film studios of the 30s.

Singin' in the rain brings you romance, laughter, special effects,  sumptious song and dance ... dream like ballet.

You name it - this sparkling show ticks every single box.

Globe verdict: Five stars


The production is on until Saturday

Tickets from 0844 871 7615