Anything Goes
7th - 12th November 2005
Photographs by John Tustin
Production Officials
Director Nora Howcroft
Musical Director Steve Taylor
Choreographer Delaney Brindle
Reno Sweeney Kathy Turton
Hope Harcourt Lindsay Farnworth
Evangeline Harcourt Joyce Walters
Erma Vicki Wilson
Billy Crocker Christian Brabin
Lord Evelyn Oakleigh Mike Fallon
Elisha Whitney Don Howcroft
Moonface Martin David Wilson
Captain Mike Taylor
Purser Steven Cawte
Fred Mike Bailey
Henry T. Dobson Andrew Turton
Purity Charlotte Fallon
Chastity Karen Millington
Charity Carole Brooks
Virtue Elizabeth Pycroft
Maid Barbara Martin
Luke Ruth Prescott
John Janet Witt
Reporter Jane Bickerstaffe
Photographer Hazel Bumby
FBI Agent David Witt
FBI Agent Alan Hitchen
Lady in wheelchair Mary Pycroft
Cheeky Maisy Bickerstaffe
Sarah Bailey, Sammie Banks, Jess Barnett, Ann Coleman, Lara Crombie, Paul Duckworth, Karen Evans, Lucy Finney, Ron Finney, Julie Kirby, Sharron Knott, Jill Marsden, Zoe Pollitt, Helen Popplewell, Maria Sharrocks, Trisha Shorten, Lesley Watson, Elizabeth Williams, Matthew Windsor, Nicola Worrall
  • Reno and her Angels arrive on board ship Reno and her Angels arrive on board ship
  • Billy and Hope Billy and Hope
  • Reno and Evelyn Reno and Evelyn
  • Evangeline Harcourt Evangeline Harcourt
  • Moonface Martin and Henry T Dobson Moonface Martin and Henry T Dobson
  • Elisha Whitney Elisha Whitney
  • Erma and Moonface Erma and Moonface
  • The crew The crew
  • Purity and Chastity Purity and Chastity
  • Erma and the crew Erma and the crew
  • Reno Sweeney Reno Sweeney
  • Erma, Mooonface and Evelyn Erma, Mooonface and Evelyn
  • Reno "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" Reno "Blow, Gabriel, Blow"
  • Hope, Evangeline and Elisha Hope, Evangeline and Elisha
  • Reno and the Company Reno and the Company
  • Billy and the Angels Billy and the Angels
  • The Company The Company

  • Bolton Evening News Review
  • NODA North West News Review
With a story by Wodehouse and songs by Cole Porter, Anything Goes is a creation that dramatises the glitz and glamour of the jazz age.

Ostensibly the tale of the hapless Billy Crocker's attempts to win the girl of his dreams away from her English buffoon of a fiancé, the real action happens away from the central romance. The story starts in Manhattan, where the liner SS American is about to set sail to England. As the passengers board, they have little idea that this is to be the trip of a lifetime, or that there are some very unusual characters on board.

David Wilson steals the show as Public Enemy Number 13, Moonface Martin, a gangster on the run from the FBI. The capers that ensue as Moonface and his moll, with Billy in tow, provide the comic action of the play. All manner of disguises are resorted to and there is one little dog in particular that is left hoping for a woolly jumper this Christmas.

Christian Brabin gains the audience's sympathy as the "broken broker", willing to throw away the little that he has left for his girl, played beautifully by Lindsay Farnworth. Kathy Turton and Vicki Wilson bring sex appeal as the seductive Evangelist Reno Sweeney and the man-eating moll Erma. A supporting cast pull off admirably difficult dance routines and heroic American accent. Delightful, as Cole Porter would undoubtedly have said himself.

Kat Dibbits
Despite the rather bizarre storyline the production, along with the S. S. America, floated along on a raft of excellent Cole Porter music and lyrics which make this an entertaining, light-hearted and watchable show if you don't take it too seriously.

Director Nora Howcroft provided the deft touch to steer the ship to a successful conclusion. Steve Taylor's orchestra coped well with the score and Delaney Brindle's choreography added considerably to the overall effect.

From the moment she stepped on stage Kathy Turton (Reno Sweeney) put her numbers over with power and clarity whilst Christian Brabin (Billy Crocker) has a promising voice and looked quite at home with the part. Mike Fallon was delightfully 'over the top' with his P. G. Wodehouse styled Lord Evelyn Oakleigh whilst David Wilson successfully milked the part of Moonface Martin for all it was worth.

Vicki Wilson was very good as the bubbly, swivel hipped gangsters moll Erma. The part of Hope Harcourt is not the best defined in the musical world. However, Lindsay Farnworth made the best of what the part had to offer. The experienced Joyce Walters (Evangeline Harcourt) and Don Howcroft (Elisha Whitney) both contributed fully to the overall production. The Angels, Charlotte Fallon, Karen Millington, Carole Brooks and Elizabeth Pycroft worked well together. However, I felt their costuming did little to enhance their showgirl image.

Otherwise costuming looked authentic and the stage set looked great. Congratulations to all concerned – a most enjoyable evening's entertainment. My thanks for the society's hospitality.

Glyn Neary

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