All aboard! The hit musical extravaganza, Anything Goes, is back and on tour. Sailing around the UK before returning to London’s Barbican Theatre in June. We can’t wait to catch a performance of this classic and you can find out all about the show as we do a deep dive into what the cast and team behind Anything Goes have to say about the show.
Kathleen Marshall has the amazing task of making Anything Goes look truly spectacular on stage as both the director and choreographer of the show. She feels the show has come along at the right time, right when audiences needed “something big and noisy and joyous and silly and romantic”. She’s said Anything Goes “acts like a classic farce. But instead of being in an English country house for a weekend, we’re on a ship.”
She couldn’t really have sum it up better. For those unfamiliar with the show, it’s the hilarious story of several unique characters as they travel on an ocean liner from New York to London and the loves and misadventures they encounter along the way. The classic score features music and lyrics from the iconic Cole Porter. Kathleen said, “How many hundreds of times have I heard these Cole Porter songs? I never get sick of them because they’re so smartly written.”
She also said, “This show to me is like a wonderful gift. When you’re giving someone a gift you can’t wait for them to open it. I feel like that’s the way it is for the cast when they discover these parts, and then ultimately giving that gift to an audience.”
Leading the cast is star of the stage, Kerry Ellis, as Reno Sweeney, a super charismatic nightclub singer. Kerry was especially excited to become Reno, she said “These classic musicals don’t come around very often, and I jumped at the chance to take on a role that I didn’t think I’d get to play. But I grew up dancing – it’s like riding a bike. And I performed ‘Friendship’ when I was really young doing competitions. To get to sing it as a professional is really nostalgic for me.”
Joining Kerry is Denis Lawson as gangster Moonface Martin. Denis said Anything Goes “is just right up my street. This is the kind of material that made me want to be a performer in the first place, when I was four or five and seeing performers like Danny Kate and Jerry Lewis. I just wanted to do that, and it never really went away.”
Another big name from an already impressive cast list is Simon Callow as Elisha Whitney. Simon has directed more musicals than he has starred in, but he is excited to tour in the show and said, “I’ve always felt that that’s what we’re here for, which is to spread the word. I really do feel like we’re medieval actors going round on our cart, bringing entertainment to people rather than them having to come to us.”
If that wasn’t enough, Kathleen was thrilled to work with “great comic actress” Bonnie Langford. Kathleen had first seen Bonnie as Baby June in Gypsy in 1974 and became a long-time fan. This pairing also feels special to Bonnie who said, “It’s extraordinary that we’ve come together after all that time.”
On the show, Bonnie said, “It’s just blue skies happiness. When people start to tap there is this beat that goes through you and you feel that coming across the footlights and it definitely gets those happy endorphins going. Although we can all sit in our own living rooms and watch something on a screen, there is nothing like that feeling of it happening right in front of you with everyone enjoying something together. I think I’m going to get quite emotional when I stand on that stage, I really do.”
We get it, Bonnie, we’re all theatre fanatics here! Get your tickets to see Anything Goes when it heads to a theatre near you
so you don’t miss out on a real treat.