Anything Goes at the Barbican Theatre – Review

If ever there was a moment for unabridged joy and laughter, surely now it is! And with Anything Goes continuing its run at the Barbican Theatre until 6th November 2021, don’t miss your opportunity to indulge.

Anything Goes at the Barbican Theatre in London starring Sutton Foster

While this is by no means the first performance of Anything Goes, given that it has been running on and off since 1934, this one is proving to be the slickest and most impressive performance yet, as audience reactions will firmly attest.

For an audience hungry for entertainment after the 16-month hiatus, the pure infectiousness (dare we use that word yet?) of the show left everyone with a smile on their faces. The length and ferocity of the numerous standing ovations were met, somewhat, with surprise by the cast.

And what a cast.

Sutton Foster, the legend of Broadway and winner of two Tony awards for Best Actress in a Musical, graces the stage in a reprisal of her role as Reno Sweeney, evangelist turned nightclub singer. Robert Lindsay performs as second-rate mobster “Moonface” Martin, dropping hilarious ad-libbed lines. Felicity Kendal appears here in her very first musical alongside the West End legend Gary Wilmot.

Anything Goes at the Barbican Theatre in London starring Sutton Foster

Sutton is simply fabulous, whether she’s dazzling with high kicks in her dance routine, singing up a storm or simply acting, she dominates the stage amongst the other big names. Make no mistake, watching Sutton’s tour-de-force in Anything Goes will leave a lasting impression.

Performing Friendship alongside Robert Lindsay, Sutton’s timing is perfect. The same is true for every song and every step. And whilst duetting with Haydn Oakley, who plays the bumbling Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, the show goes beyond perfection. If an Olivier award does not come her way, we will be very surprised.

It’s worth noting that Sutton’s appearance in London almost didn’t happen. Originally the part of Reno had cone to Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), but regretfully for her fans, injury led to a change of plans. But where we lose one star, we gain another. And we must admit, getting to see Sutton return to her award-winning role is simply marvellous.

Part of what makes Anything Goes such a hit is that almost every member of the cast gets his or her moment to shine. Excellent performances abound. We get to see Samuel Edwards as Billy Crocker, and his love interest Hope Harcourt, played by Nicole-Lilt Baisden sing Easy to Love and De-Lovely. Gary Wilmot is a hoot in The Crew Song. All the fan favourites are performed on the Barbican stage with gusto.

Anything Goes at the Barbican Theatre in London starring Sutton Foster

Everyone on the stage is magnificent. But it would be remiss of us if we failed to mention the credit that must be heaped upon director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall, who managed to ensure that every wonderfully cast member of the crew hit an epic high in this amusing tale of shenanigans aboard the SS American.

The sets were created by Derek McLane and are works of art. Vibrant, glossy uniforms were designed by Jon Morrell and are a treat to feast your eyes upon. Even musical director Stephen Ridley gets in on the act, donning a sailor’s hat whilst down with his 15 musicians in the orchestra pit.

In case you cannot already tell, we heartily recommend going to see Anything Goes at the Barbican Theatre before the end of its current run. No one will leave without a smile on their face.

Book your tickets now for Anything Goes at the Barbican Theatre.

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