REVIEW: Singin' In The Rain, Mayflower, Southampton, until September 26.

Tim Flavin is at his absolute best in this dazzling revival of Singin' In The Rain, a show that will have you singing all the way home.

As the audience poured out the doors, toes were tapping, pretty much everyone was humming. It was that kind of night '“ one to savour.

It's difficult to think of anyone that can match Flavin for class or quality when it comes to the big, big musicals '“ and in this one he's in his element, his artistry equalled only by his evident enjoyment.

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The rain gushes down from the ceiling, not once but twice '“ all part of this spectacular no-expense-spared production. But what makes it stand out, is the fact that it's not just about lavish. It's also about heart, a lovely love story set at that difficult moment when talkies started to shove aside the silent movie stars.

Flavin is Don Lockwood, the part immortalised by Gene Kelly, the movie star lumbered with the squawking, screeching Lina Lamont '“ failings which don't matter all the while the audiences don't have to hear her speak or, worse, sing.

Amy Griffiths is supposed to be irritating as Lina, and Griffiths does irritating extremely well. Maybe too much so. The trouble with a grating character is that'¦ well'¦ the character is grating.

But there's harmony enough from Jessica Punch as Kathy Seldon, the girl who makes Don's heart sing. Singin' In The Rain is a song about falling in love, and dancing in the downpour, Flavin gives it full value in another excellent week at the start of Southampon's superb autumn season.

Phil Hewitt