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Still de-lovey after all these years

PUBLISHED: 10:08 27 March 2001 | UPDATED: 15:04 22 October 2010

Anything Goes @ Theatre Royal, Norwich.

Anything Goes @ Theatre Royal, Norwich

By SARAH HARDY

With classic numbers such as I Get a Kick Out of You, You're the Top, It's De-Lovely and All Through the Night, this Cole Porter musical is a favourite with many.

This production stays true to the original 1930s spirit and no attempt is made to update it. Thus, compared to the hit shows of today, it might seem rather stagey and lacking in energy.

But the show's charm is gentle, with an accent on cheeky humour which pokes fun at the silly British upper classes of the time and the brashness of America's new rich.

Gemma Craven, one of the country's leading musical stars, holds this show together as nightclub singer Reno Sweeney with a strong voice that belts out hit after hit just as Porter would have wanted.

Jonathon Morris, best known as Adrian Boswell from the TV series Bread, plays the rather-confused Billy Crocker and certainly puts his all into it, ultimately producing an engaging performance.

Irish favourite Billy Boyle takes on the gangster role of Moonface Martin and provides much of the slapstick fun while Michael Chance captures the daftness of bumbling English peer Lord Oakleigh.

The best pieces are the ensemble ones when everyone really seems to come alive, especially for the signature number.

It's a production that has had money spent on it – the set is ambitious, the costumes keep on coming and there's a decent-sized chorus line which performs several well- choreographed dance numbers.

Everyone is miked up, which is always distracting. There's a belief, after all, that if your voice can't reach the back of an average theatre's auditorium, you shouldn't really be in the business.

This is a show from a different era but one that many people today would quite like to belong to. Sit back and enjoy.


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