GETTING drenched under six thousand litres of water every night might not be everyone’s idea of a great job but for Adam Cooper, a nightly soaking is something he can’t get enough of.

Adam is returning to the role of Don Lockwood in the musical Singin’ in the Rain which comes to Manchester next week. It’s the role made famous by Gene Kelly in the Hollywood movie of the same name and which features one of the most famous dance routines of all time.

Adam first appeared in the show in 2004 and has returned to it time and again.

“I worked out when we were in Japan earlier this year with the show that I’d done over 700 performances of Singin’ in the Rain which is by far the most I’ve done of any show,” he said.

“It’s such an infectious show. It’s a joy to do each time I do it. Obviously being able to sing those songs and do those famous dance routines helps but I just love the character of Don and the characters around him and the kind of relationships he has with them.

Charlotte Gooch and Adam Cooper in Singin in the Rain (Picture: Manuel Harlan)

Charlotte Gooch and Adam Cooper in Singin in the Rain (Picture: Manuel Harlan)

“It’s just one of those shows I never get tired of doing which is quite rare. In our business you usually try to move on from one show to another as much as you can. But this one - I just seem to keep coming back to it.”

Starting out as a ballet dancer - he worked with the Royal Ballet and then famously created the lead role in Matthew Bourne’s groundbreaking version of Swan Lake - Adam has become one of the musical theatre world’s most in-demand performers. He is also a renowned choreographer.

So he’s in an ideal position to try and asses why audiences can’t get enough of Singin’ in the Rain.

“It’s just timeless,” he said. “Of course it was helped by the amazing film but there is something really special about it.”

The show will forever be known for THAT dance routine which ends the first half of the show when Don dances away seemingly oblivious to the torrential downpour.

“That dance scene is so iconic,” said Adam. “It’s been done so many ways from break dancers to even Paddington Bear.

“But what makes our version so special is that the rain scene is really spectacular. We have so much water coming from the top, from the bottom, from everywhere - it creates something quite magical for the audience.”

As the person who has to follow in Gene Kelly’s shows every night, does Adam get nervous about what’s to come?

“There is always that ‘gulp’ moment just before I go on,” he said. “But there are a mixture of feelings. One of them is exhaustion because during the first half of the show I’m never off stage other than to change costume, it’s a real marathon.

“So to know that sequence is at the end of it and you’ve got to muster up all the energy you have left to deliver that number is quite daunting. But as soon as I start it’s a joy.

Adam Cooper and Charlotte Gooch in Singin’ in the Rain

Adam Cooper and Charlotte Gooch in Singin’ in the Rain

“It’s very rare in theatre that you get something that’s quite so spectacular.There’s something about this sequence that just blows people away. Part of it is the danger element, I know part of the audience is wondering if I’m going to fall over half way through.”

It’s not just Adam who gets soaked every night.

“We’ve toured the show three times in Japan and there they call the first six rows the ‘happy rain seats’,” he said. “They are the ones which always get booked first because people know they are going to get wet.”

Singin’ in the Rain is the story of a successful silent movie actor and his showbiz friends trying to come to terms with the arrival of talking pictures. The definitive version of the show will always be the movie with Gene Kelly but Adam has been very conscious not to try and just copy his hero.

“Gene Kelly is a genius,” said Adam. “He’s one of my heroes growing up and I’ve seen everything he’s done.

“But the one thing I was really aware of when first did the part was that I had to find my version of Don Lockwood. I didn’t want to be trying to copy Gene Kelly and what he did either as an actor or a dancer. I purposefully didn’t watch the film before doing the role. I had seen it a number of times years earlier but I didn’t want it fresh in my mind in case I started doing things I remembered.

“There is a pressure take on a role so synonymous with Gene Kelly but in order to make people believe my Don Lockwood, I had to do it in way that worked for me.”

With this current tour Adam will have been closely linked to the role of Don Lockwood for almost 18 years, so how has the character changed over the years?

Adam Cooper and the Singin in the Rain company (Picture: Manuel Harlan)

Adam Cooper and the Singin' in the Rain company (Picture: Manuel Harlan)

“He’s a lot older, a lot wider and certainly doesn’t jump as high,” he laughed. “But we all get better with age, at least that’s what we tell ourselves.

“Every time I approach the role I come to it as though it is a new role, I come to it afresh which I think is really important.”

Adam has managed to fit the Manchester shows into a busy schedule.

“Manchester was one of the shows which I really wanted to do,” he said. “I think I have performed in the city more than anywhere else out of London. It’s special.”

It’s clear talking to Adam that Singin’ in the Rain has a special place in his heart.

“No other show I’ve ever done have I had so many people contact me afterwards saying your show has brightened up my day, month, year... Everyone gone through hard time and it fills them with joy whether it’s the nostalgia, the spectacle, the story or the music. There is so much about it people love and that’s why it’s lasted as long as it has.

“For me this has been the ultimate gift. This production started out as a six week run. Now here I am 11 years later and I’m still doing it.”

Singin’ in the Rain, Manchester Opera House, Monday, May 9 to Saturday, May 14. Details from