THE SS American is setting sail in Coventry this February as Cole Porter’s beloved musical Anything Goes takes to the stage.
Talented young performers from the University of Warwick’s musical theatre society, Music Theatre Warwick (MTW), are giving the classic show a new lease of life.
Observer news editor Lauren Clarke was invited to see the show’s first run through with the band ahead of opening night to see what the fuss was about.
Having delighted audiences around the world for more than 80 years, productions of Anything Goes can often come across stale and dated.
But director Jack Plummer’s retelling of the classic brings it back to life.
Featuring classic songs including ‘I Get a Kick Out of You’, ‘You’re the Top’ and, of course, ‘Anything Goes’, the musical tells the story of star-crossed lovers, mistaken identities and runaway gangsters aboard a ship bound from New York to England.
Plummer’s production is sexy, fun and self-aware – finding the true comedy in Porter’s witty lyrics and fast-paced dialogue.
Jess Williams sparkles as nightclub singer cum evangelist Reno Sweeney – with sass a-plenty – while Beth Baxter’s honest portrayal of good girl Hope Harcourt brings touching moments of stillness to an otherwise action-packed show.
It is worth buying a ticket alone for Rob Madge’s brilliantly funny second-rate gangster ‘Moonface’ Martin and Oscar Street’s painfully posh Lord Evelyn Oakleigh – each executing flawlessly funny performances.
The talented ensemble and supporting cast help bring this must-see show alive with rousing vocal performances and impressive dance numbers.
MTW’s production of Anything Goes sets sail at the Warwick Arts Centre from Wednesday, February 24 to Saturday, February 27.
Tickets are available online at www.warwickartscentre.co.uk or via the box office on 02476 524524.