Anything Goes (West End) Review

Date: Saturday 31st July (7:30pm)

Venue: Barbican Theatre

Sutton Foster – Reno Sweeney
Robert Lindsay – Moonface Martin
Felicity Kendal – Evangeline Harcourt
Gary Wilmot – Elisha Whitney
Samuel Edwards – Billy Crocker
Nicole-Lily Baisden – Hope Harcourt
Carly Mercedes Dyer – Erma
Haydn Oakley – Lord Evelyn Oakleigh
Jon Chew – John
Clive Hayward – Ship’s Captain
Graham MacDuff – Ship’s Purser
Alistair So – Luke


On the SS American it was never going to be a smooth journey across to England due to the stowaways and issues that have been taken on board. Couples who are not with the people they should be and hiding from your boss as you didn’t do the major deal. Our story follows Billy Crocker as he boards the ship to give his boss Elisha Whitney his passport but when seeing Hope Harcourt the girl he is in love with he decides to stay on board, becoming friends with gangster Moonface Martin. Who both have a mutual friend in singer Reno Sweeney, she just happens to be rather fond of Billy as well. It was never going to be straightforward with gangsters posing as priest and then Hope being engaged to marry English Lord, Evelyn Oakleigh. All of this carnage certainly creates for a hilarious story with some fantastic slapstick moments as well as one liners, not forgetting the incredible musical numbers throughout.

Anything Goes the title song is an incredible moment that brings a close to the first act and it was outstanding with the tap dancing, the vocals of Sutton Foster and the sheer joy that gave the audience. A standing ovation at the interval is not something I have witnessed many times when attending the theatre but that is what Foster received at this performance. More than deserved I must add as she is utterly incredible, an amazing stage presence and quite possibly now of the best performances I have ever seen.

A truly incredible production that has a company of 50 actors which includes tap dancing sailors and a full live orchestra with an all star cast that are incredibly talented. Sutton Foster taking on the role that won her a Tony Award on Broadway from a 2011 production. It was very easy to understand why she won’t that award and the audience response to when she first appeared on stage (and then throughout) made me think I had somehow been transferred to Broadway, I have never heard a West End audience so loud and cheer throughout. Robert Lindsay is great on stage and I am so pleased I have eventually got to see him in something, as for me he has always been the Dad from My Family, to see him doing what he loves on stage was truly special. Felicity Kendal and Gary Wilmot made up the more well known names within the show and both were utterly fantastic in the roles. I absolutely adored Samuel Edwards and thought he was engaging and put in so much throughout, both in terms of the love story he was involved with but also the comedy moments. Working so well with Lindsay and Sutton. Not forgetting the chemistry formed with Nicole-Lily Baisden who has some fantastic moments as well.

With some truly amazing lead performances the full production is just breathtaking, the sheer scale of it all on the massive stage at the Barbican (an amazing venue I must add, as I had never been before). It is what an old musical like this one more than deserves, it really does raise the question of revivals of older shows and that they should be done. It actually made me think of the good old cliche “they don’t make them like they used to” which is certainly true. Great shows come along but the sheer scale of the older musicals with the incredible full orchestra was outstanding and tap dancing is still one of the greatest forms of dance you can witness on stage, I have always had that as my favourite form of dancing and Anything Goes confirms that again!

Strictly limited season until 17th October 2021 .

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