Sunday, October 2

Anything Goes – Liverpool Empire

In olden days, a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking, but now God knows, anything goes.

Last years’ Olivier Award nominations were proof that Cole Porter’s 1934 musical hit is a timeless classic and can still please audiences today. This new touring production also shows, that with the right casting, it can raise the roof on large theatre venues. Set on the SS American, as it sets sail from New York to England, the press and passengers on board are complaining that there are no celebrities to make this trip worthwhile and worth the price of the ticket. Unbeknownst to them, there are stowaways and gangsters hiding in plain sight aboard and chaos, of course, ensues. With storylines that follow four main characters, it’s easy to think you’d get confused with the multiple plotlines. It soon becomes apparently that they are all intertwined, and you can sit back and watch the drama unfold. The script is full of witty and dry one-liners and there is definitely something for everyone to entertained for an evening.

The cast are jaw-droppingly fantastic and have been chosen exceptionally well. They take you on the journey with them and you’re more than happy to go along for the ride. Kerry Ellis as Reno Sweeney wows and stuns every time she is on stage. Her renditions of ‘Anything Goes’ and ‘Blow, Gabriel, Blow’ with their dance routines were amazing to witness. Her relationship with Denis Lawson’s Moonface Martin also came across really well and they were almost like the underdog baddies that you were rooting for. Bonnie Langford, as always, shines whenever she steps on the stage. She is perfect for the role Evangeline Harcourt, and she plays well opposite Simon Callow’s Elisha (Eli) Whitney, who just commands the stage as much as he needs to whenever he’s in a scene.

The rest of the supporting lead cast; Samuel Edwards as Billy Crocker, Nicole-Lily Baisden as Hope Harcourt, Haydn Oakley as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, Carly Mercedes Dyer as Erma, Carl Au as Luke, Clive Hayward as the Ship’s Captain, Trev Neo as John and Cornelius Clarke were also equally hilarious and joyous to watch as part of the whole ensemble. Credit must also go to the whole ensemble, as the dance routines and large dance numbers (choreographed by Olivier award winning Kathleen Marshall) were so in sync.

It’s an evening that can be enjoyed by all and the new life that has been injected into it following its run at the Barbican last year, has really helped this tour and it’s sure to be a sell-out, so grab a ticket whilst you can!

Anything Goes runs at the Liverpool Empire until the 30th April, before touring the UK and it heads back to the Barbican in London this summer. Get your tickets from or

Reviewer: Jenn McKean

Reviewed: 20th April 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★