Centenary Theatre Company brings Cole Porter’s Anything Goes to the Brindley Theatre after two and a half years in the making. With the dreaded Covid putting a hold on things, they were able to bring most of the original cast back to display the hard work they have put into this show. Set aboard the Luxury liner S.S. American as it travels from New York to England, we follow the comings and goings of a nightclub singer, a wealthy English Aristocrat, a public enemy, and many more in this fast paced, music filled show.
The show started with the house curtains closed as the band played the Overture, sounding incredible and stayed sounding amazing throughout. When the curtains opened, we were introduced to the very impressive looking set, mostly the deck of the liner with pieces wheeled on and off when needed to create scene changes, carried out smoothly and very slick. Costumes were fantastic for the most and were right for the era. There were a couple of costumes that were slightly ill fitting, but this did not cause any issues.
Sound wise, for the most was fantastic, only let down by microphone and wig issues causing awful noises as they got caught in or brushed against the wig. I am unsure if this was to do with the mic quality as it only happened to a couple of people. Lighting was basic but I did find on occasions, some cast members were not lit very well, possibly due to not hitting their lighting mark or maybe down to the lighting pool not being wide enough.
I enjoyed the way the director, Mark Murphy, had people coming and going in the background during numerous scenes, making them look as natural as possible.
The cast worked so hard and there were a few stand outs on the stage. Lisa-Ann Connor in the leading role of Reno Sweeney is fantastic with incredible vocals, brilliant comic timing and outstanding dance moves. Peter Brennan as Lord Evelyn Oakley was hilarious, with over-the-top acting, fitting with the character, engaging the audience thoroughly. Kirsten Dunn shone as Hope Harcourt with beautiful vocals and stunning dancing, she was mesmerising to watch. Blair Smith played a nice Billy Crocker, with fantastic accents throughout and strong vocals, if I could pick one thing it would be that I wish Smith was a little looser when dancing as he seemed very stiff, especially when dancing with such strong female dancers who seemed to be leading him and dancing around him to mask him. Jessie Scotson as Erma absolutely stole the show for me. The whole package, funny, confident with outstanding vocals and incredible dance moves.
Choreography by Ceris Shadwell was fantastic throughout and the tap dance routine to the title song, Anything Goes, was a showstopper. It had great content and was delivered to such a high standard by the cast that I had goosebumps. Huge well done to everyone involved in this number.
Ensemble numbers sounded incredible with excellent harmonies and full sound. A huge well done to MD Matt Corrigan.
You can clearly see how much work has gone into this production and every member of the company should be extremely proud to deliver a show of such high standards.
Anything Goes is ‘The Top,’ ‘It’s De-lovely’ and you will ‘Get a Kick’ out of this classic musical.
Running until Saturday 21st May 2022, https://tickets.thebrindley.org.uk/en-GB/shows/anything%20goes/events/2
You can keep up with Centenary Theatre Company on Twitter @CentenaryTC
Reviewer: Damian Riverol
Reviewed: 17th May 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★