SOUTHEND Operatic and Dramatic Society will be bringing the timeless classic Singin’ in the Rain to life this Wednesday at the Palace Theatre.

The much-loved musical is based on the famous MGM film starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds.

Singin’ in the Rain has frequently been named as one of the greatest musicals of all time and SODS will be revising the iconic show 10 years after first staging it at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend.

Teenagers Rob Maynard and Ewan Dunlop will be playing Don Lockwood and Cosmo Brown, the characters played by Kelly and O’Connor, with Kirsty Bone playing Cathy Selden, the part portrayed by Reynolds.

It takes place at the theatre in London Road, Westcliff, from Wednesday November 22 to Saturday, November 25, including matinee performances.

Visit or call the box office on 01702 351135 for booking and further information.

The Echo chats to Rob Maynard, from Southend.

When and under what circumstances did you start taking part in dramatics?

I began when I was 13 years old. My initial reason for doing so was in order for me to gain confidence as I had a stammer and was in speech therapy.

Are or were any members of your immediate family involved in drama?

I was the first in my family to take part in drama, but they have all been extremely encouraging.

Have you done any formal theatre or musical training?

My training stems mainly from my studies in school and now college. I have also been involved in a few other community theatre shows.

Do you have any special skills, from juggling to speaking German, that have proved useful on stage?

I have had some training in college in physical theatre and stage combat that has proved useful in productions.

Do you do any accents or impressions?

I can do a few different British accents and obviously American. But as as impressions go, nothing hugely significant. I've been told I do a fairly good Jim Carey impression.

Which experience/role do you regard as the highlight of your time in the theatre?

A huge highlight for me was playing Joe Casey in Our House, as it was a huge challenge for me, but also a really great character I could identify with. I have also performed in Her Majesty's Theatre in the West End as a lead role with my old drama school.

What was your most gratifying moment in terms of response from an audience?

If I had to choose one, I would say when I played Boland in Dogfight, which was more of an aggressive and villainous part. And I was approached by audience members after the show saying that I was very good at making them hate me, which of course was exactly what I was going for, especially as I don't generally play an antagonist part.

Who is the most inspirational person you have worked with/been taught by, in your stage career?

I would have to say my tutor at college Alex, he is an outstanding actor, and has helped me improve so much in all different areas of the art.

When was your most embarrassing theatrical moment on or off stage?

During my first SOD's show, Rock of Ages I had to receive a lap dance on stage in front of all my friends and family, although very funny it was quite embarrassing.

Ever corpsed on stage? What happened?

I fortunately haven't corpsed on stage, as of yet, however I wouldn't like to jinx it for this show!

What do you do for a living, when not acting?

I'm a full time student, and work part time as a waiter.

Has your theatre career ever been useful in your day job, and/or have you ever drawn on your day job for any of your stage roles?

It has undoubtedly made me a lot more confident as a person. And I now have no problem with public speaking.

Ever thought of going professional?

My dream one day is to go professional, I work very hard at what I do and I would love to one day make a career out of being a performer.

Tell us something about your current production, Singin In The Rain, and how you have approached your role.

I had never actually tap danced a great deal before I was cast as the lead! Therefore I've been crash coursed the last seven months in order to come across as though I've been doing it my whole life.

Which actor (s) do you most admire and why?

I personally take a lot of inspiration in David Tennant's style of acting. I've seen a few shows with him in as well as TV roles. He is such a diverse actor and is always so convincing, he has such an element of ease with acting, it all happens very naturally to him.

What role would you most like to play and why?

I personally have no singular role that jumps out to me as one I'd love to play. I try to keep myself fairly diverse and not generalise my style.

What future roles have you got lined up?

I'll be auditioning for Little Shop of Horrors with the Summer Youth Project at the Palace Theatre, as well as SOD'S next show Kiss Me Kate.

Any tips to pass on for learning your lines?

I would just suggest to spend no more than 10-20 minutes a night just reading over a few scenes. Then seeing if you can recall them in the morning. Then just repeat the process.

Any other tricks of the trade to pass on?

Never limit yourself as an actor, try and attempt other roles in shows and push yourself.