Musical Review: Anything Goes



Saw it: 15 April 2015
Where: Opera House, Manchester
Cast: 4 stars
Show: 4 stars
Overall: 4 stars


When Billy Crocker discovers that his heart’s desire, debutante heiress Hope Harcourt is engaged to an English aristocrat, he stows away aboard the S.S. American to win her back. Aided by a string of eccentric passengers on board the luxurious transatlantic liner, can this web of love be untangled before they reach Southampton?

Featuring the rich sounds of a live orchestra and a sensational cast of 26, Cole Porter’s uplifting masterpiece of music and dance includes the magnificent songs I Get A Kick Out of You, You’re the Top, It’s De-Lovely and Anything Goes. Hop aboard for sassy heroines, mischievous mob bosses, comedy capers and tap dancing sailors in this hilarious tale of romance and hi-jinks on the high seas.


This tour of Anything Goes is all about the ladies (sorry gents). Please don’t misunderstand the cast is great but it’s the leading ladies that completely steal the show, especially Debbie Kurup in her role as Reno Sweeney. From the moment she walked on stage she had the audience and wow can that lady sing.

Zoë Rainey (Hope Harcourt) and Alex Young (Erma) are equally great. I adored Alex Young’s portrayal of Erma and her number “Buddy, Beware” was one of my favourites. One of the best duets was “You’re the Top” between Matt Rawle (Billy Crocker) and Debbie Kurup, during the performance they both looked like they were having a wonderful time.

Having never seen EastEnders or Extra’s (yes shocking I know) I sort of knew of Shaun Williamson but not really. I’ve seen ‘TV people’ in other shows and, ahm, it’s not been great so I was a little bit apprehensive but my apologies to Mr Williamson. He really delivered. Thank you.

I do have a little bugbear; there is a tap routine that starts with Reno and the rest of the cast joining in. The same routine is repeated at the end.
It sounds amazing but looks confusing and here’s why – on the night I saw the show some of the cast where in sync with their upper bodies but some weren’t. But they weren’t out of sync a little bit, it was different movements. Based on the sound the feet must have all been doing the same but visually the top half of the performers didn’t match each other. I didn’t know if that was deliberate or accidental. If half were doing one routine and then the rest another? It kind of took away the wow factor.

Anything Goes is a great night out. The show is high energy, packed full of brilliant songs and a cast who perform them wonderfully.

You can see a full tour schedule by clicking the link HERE

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