Anything Goes

Date 17th June 2017
Society Maghull Musical Theatre Company
Venue Little Theatre Southport
Type of Production Musical
Director Betty Hall
Musical Director Charles Moss
Choreographer Betty Hall & Suzanne Morris


Author: Patricia Connor

With music and lyrics written by Cole Porter “Maghull Musical Theatre Company’s” latest production was “Anything Goes” which has in its score   some of the most well known and loved songs of the 20th century which have stood the test of time. The show is based on a book by Guy Bolton and P.G.Wodehouse which was revised by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse. The story is set on board an ocean liner sailing from New York  to London and follows the fortunes of Billy Crocker a Wall Street broker who is at the dock to say farewell to his boss and his friend nightclub singer Reno Sweeney, there he finds out that the girl he is in love with, heiress Hope Harcourt is  a passenger on board the ship, but unfortunately for Billy she is already engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh .Billy stows away on the ship to try and win Hope's heart, with the help of  Reno and Moonface Martin a gangster and also Public Enemy Number 13 with the result mayhem brakes ensues.

Directed by Betty Hall, with musical direction from Charles Moss and applicable good sound choreography essential for this show from Betty Hall and Suzanne Morris. This was a very entertaining fun production, with some very talented performers in the cast, who all produced great characterisations in their roles and worked well together as a team with no weak links. Kimberley Russell was outstanding as Reno Sweeny, she had a great singing voice which suited this part very well, singing songs that included “I Got a kick out of You” “Anything Goes” “Blow Gabriel Blow”. Matt Casson produced a very enjoyable strong performance as the love sick Billy Crocker and he was complemented very well by Phoebe Hill who also sang very well in the role of Hope Harcourt they made a very good central romantic couple.  Eric Fletcher gave us an excellent characterisation and was very funny as Moonface Martin, his rendition of “Be Like a Blue Bird” went down very well with the audience and his comic timing was spot on which is essential in this type of role and production.  Moonface was accompanied on board the ship by gangsters’ moll Erma, admirably played with spirit by Natalie Metcalfe.  Lee Ashall was splendid as comedic aristocratic Lord Evelyn Oakleigh his number ‘The Gypsy in Me’ also went down very well. There were also some very good comedic characterisations, and some nice singing in other roles, these included Gaynor Hale as Hope’s mother Evangeline Harcourt, a very comedic Les Gomersall as Billy’s boss Elisha Whitney, Ian Culshaw as the ship’s Captain, Matt Christiansen as the Ship’s Purser, Graham Heap and Alex Mckillop were amusing as Brother Luke and Bother John, and finally Tony Adamson gave us the Reverend Henry T Dobson. The important chorus sang very well supporting the principle cast and performing with strength and enthusiasm, they all appeared to be enjoying themselves immensely throughout the show. American accents were very good and diction was clear so dialogue could be heard and followed easily.  The orchestra led by Musical Director Charles Moss played very well at just the right level of sound, supporting and accompanying the cast securely. Scenery was applicable, looked good, was well designed for maximum efficiency; thus enabling quick and smooth scene changes, meaning the show could run at a good pace. So along with good technical input and costumes which were very colourful, looked nice, suited the roles and fitted the era well enhanced and added to the success of the production.

Congratulations and well done to Director Betty Hall for this excellent fun production and to all involved including the back stage crew and front of house. Thank you for inviting us we had a great evening, I hope to see you for your next production.