Review: Anything Goes @ Lichfield Garrick

Lichfield Operatic Society

Lichfield Operatic Society

I went to see Anything Goes thinking that the show, with music and lyrics penned by Cole Porter in 1934, would seem somewhat dated.

How wrong I was!

The show has gone through several revivals and proved some of the old ones can really can be the best.

Lichfield Operatic Society brought a freshness and enthusiasm to the mundane story of old-fashioned mistaken identity aboard an ocean liner.

A fantastic cast extracted every ounce of comedy from the script – and more.

And the big production numbers – choreographed by Charlie Welch and Jessica Lambert – were some of the slickest I’d ever seen, you just didn’t want them to end.

Production Director Faye O’Leary’s casting of this production was perfect – every character was played to the full by this experienced cast.

Dawn Welch shone as nightclub singer and dancer Reno Sweeny, surely a role she was born to play?

Jordan Adams as the lovelorn Billy Crocker brought just the right amount of ‘suffering’ to the role, with some lovely duets with Eve Fehilly as Hope Harcourt, the object of his affections.

But it was the two comic geniuses who stole the show for me – Eoin Edwards as the pompous Sir Evelyn Oakleigh and Craig Allen as gangster Moonface Martin.

Eoin just had to walk on to the stage to get a laugh, such were his mannerisms and brilliant ‘upper-claaas’ voice. A study in how to get it right!

And Moonface Martin was another role just made for Craig Allen, a master in the art of engaging an audience. His comic timing is simply second to none.

Costumes for this production were lavish under the expertise of wardrobe mistress Jean Taylor and her team. She told me one of the dresses, worn by gangster’s moll Bonnie (beautifully played by Kerri Davies) was originally made for the company’s last production of Anything Goes in 1994 – how about that for recycling!

As usual, Musical Director David Easto had put together a brilliant band and rehearsed the cast in some great musical numbers.

Another  first class offering from Lichfield Operatic.

Anything Goes continues at the Lichfield Garrick until May 1. Get tickets if you can from the box office on 01543 412121.

In stark contrast, the company‘s next production is Jekyll and Hyde The Musical at the Garrick in November.

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