Exeter Footlights Present: Singin' in the Rain

Support Exeter University Footlights in bringing an iconic piece of musical theatre and film history to the Exeter Northcott Stage!

We did it!

On 31st Dec 2017 we successfully raised £1,400 with 54 supporters in 56 days

Support Exeter University Footlights in bringing an iconic piece of musical theatre and film history to the Exeter Northcott Stage!

As the largest musical theatre society at the University of Exeter, Footlights have gathered nearly 100 students together to recreate the timeless classic of golden age cinema, 'Singin' in the Rain', at the Exeter Northcott theatre. 

Footlights has a reputation for putting on eclectic student theatre to a professional standard.  Despite years of performing spectacle productions at the Northcott, this years production of 'Singin' in the Rain' may be one of our biggest challenges to date. With students involved from a variety of disciplines at the University, we have gathered the best of the best to ensure that our rendition of this show is a fresh and exciting event that the community of Exeter can enjoy. Performing such an iconic show is a daunting task, especially as the original is held fondly by many, but we aspire to pay homage to this piece as best we can, which we can only do with your support.

About our Show


"The task of putting on 'Singin' in the Rain', though daunting, is also incredibly exciting. Being able to put our stamp on beloved characters, interpret those unforgettable dance routines and to be trusted with the special relationship between this musical and audiences of all ages is a true honour. This is a huge challenge for every single member of the team that will work on this production with some mammoth requirements to achieve spectacular routines, human sized cakes, and physical rain on stage.

Voted the ‘Greatest Movie Musical of All Time’, our version of 'Singin’ in the Rain' hopes to be a theatrical experience the whole family will enjoy. Faithfully and lovingly adapted by Broadway legends, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, from their original award-winning screenplay, each memorable scene, song and dance is celebrated onstage, including toe tapping tunes such as ‘Make ‘em Laugh’ and ‘Good Morning’ as well as the historic title number, immortalised by Gene Kelly in the MGM movie. The show is filled with dazzling routines, joyful musical numbers and laugh out loud moments .

This production will be a celebration of Golden Age Hollywood, which flows between the glamour of 1920s Hollywood and the hard work behind the scenes. The stage will have a constantly shifting sense of place, adopting a movie set minimalism with scenes that blossom and fade across the stage.

As I said, this is a daunting task, but one that I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of." - David Ballard, Artistic Director


"Singin' in the Rain offers the chance to choreograph one of the most iconic dance musicals of all time and transpose the magic of unforgettable numbers onto the Northcott Stage. The eclectic range of styles offered throughout the show allow a rich experience for both the cast involved and audience watching. Being able to teach fellow students the realms of classic tap and jazz and watch them develop as dancers is a joy. The show also offers other genres and styles such as tango, charleston and slapstick, where dancers are able to come into their own and showcase their talents.

Working tirelessly alongside each other, we, as a creative team, strive to achieve a cohesive and consistent show, creating a seamless feel between the scenes and choreography as they both work to enrich the audiences' experience and understanding of the piece." - Charlotte Blakeman, Choreographer


"The mere sound of Singin’ in the Rain is instantly recognisable. The combination of soaring string melodies, dainty woodwind motifs, and raucous trombone slides epitomises the epoch the show attempts to encapsulate.

The 1920s was not just a period of great change for film, but for music as well. The age saw the uneasy transition from the world of late-Romantic composers such as Mahler and Wagner to a time where innovators such as Louis Armstrong made jazz and blues the medium of musical expression in the Western world. It is this tumultuous time that the music manages to embody, supplying a refined blend of the two disciplines. Updated for the West End stage, the score reinforces the ardent passion found between Don and Kathy, as well as facilitating the farcical lines and movement of Cosmo Brown.

My team and I are working towards creating something which is not just aurally dazzling, but gorgeous as well. Our enlarged Orchestra of 25 features the ‘crème de la crème’ of musical talent in Exeter, providing 'Singin’ in the Rain' with a rich, resplendent tone. By expanding our string section to nine members, as well as bringing back the recognisable timbres of the French Horn and authentic auxiliary percussion to the Northcott stage, the music will allow the performance to reach the new heights that Footlights continues to be renowned for." - James McGregor, Musical Director

"The show is full of classic songs, like ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ and ‘Good Morning’, and it’s so exciting to see these staple numbers brought to life by our extremely talented cast, alongside our Orchestra. However, with such well known songs comes the pressure for them to be performed excellently, which our cast, band and creative team are working so hard to achieve. In singing rehearsals our cast have been taking each new challenge in their stride and consistently impressing me. Even when faced with tough five-part harmonies in such songs as ‘You Stepped Out of a Dream’ they’re sounding incredible. 'Singin’ in the Rain' has something for people of all ages; there’s humour, there’s romance and most importantly there’s fantastic singing that I can’t wait for an audience to hear." - Jacob Smith, Vocal Coach

Why You Should Get Involved

'Singin' in the Rain' is a challenging show, with technical features and spectacle elements that, without support, are often beyond the reach of student creators. Exeter, though it has a thriving arts scene, unfortunately lacks in large scale musicals that tour to the area. Therefore, ensuring 'Singin' in the Rain' is a professional-standard piece of musical theatre for the local community to enjoy is very important.

Whilst Footlights as a society has lots of new ideas to make 'Singin' in the Rain' our own, there are some key components that we must include for our version to pay homage to the original that we know and love. Creating a human-size cake is quite a feat, let alone the issue of making the stage very damp. Whilst our budget allows for our creative production team to come up with ideas to face these challenges, it is fairly restrictive, and therefore forces us to prioritise core costs (venue hire, rights, basic mic hire). However, to make this show a success, we want to place creativity at the forefront and see our vision on the Northcott stage, which would allow for the talents of the students involved in this show to flourish. By donating to this production, be it a like or share of our project on social media, a small donation, or more, you will have directly contributed to increasing artistic opportunities for students in Exeter, as well as making it possible to have the physical 'rain' in our production of 'Singin' in the Rain'. 

Below, you can find our detailed budget, as we want to be as transparent as possible about our costs and projected income. This also means that you will be able to see that your donations will be well spent!


In addition to this Crowdfunder campaign, Footlights will continue to fundraise and publicise throughout the process of bringing this show to life. We have lots of events planned, including bake sales, a launch night, a 48 hour musical and even teaser performances at Princesshay. We are also applying for lots of  grants from the University as well as further afield to ensure that this show is one the whole community can be proud of. 

As a thank you for your support, there are some fantastic rewards which you can find along the right hand column, or under the section 'support us' on the project. You could even have a line in the show - how exciting!

Get in Touch!

If you have any queries or questions about this Crowdfunding campaign, our production of Singin' in the Rain or Footlights as a society in general, do not hesitate to pop us a message!

You can get in contact with us via our social media accounts (on twitter and on Facebook), or by emailing us at footlightsexeter@gmail.com. 

Exeter University Footlights is part of the University of Exeter Students' Guild, a Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Charity Number: 1136468, Company Number: 7217324; registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Devonshire House, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4PZ.

Read full story

Got an idea like this?

Start your Crowdfunder