CAROLINE CULOT Norwich Theatre Royal
Norwich Theatre Royal
It's all aboard for a song and dance extravaganza where Anything Goes in a musical which is delightful, delicious and de-lovely.
Set on a cruise liner in the '30s, it's a show which captures the evocative frivolity of the age, with Cole Porter music including You're the Top, I Get a Kick out of You, It's De-lovely and of course the show-stopping, tap dance number Anything Goes.
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Much has been said about former newsreader Angela Rippon in the cast and no doubt all eyes were on her in the hope of her reprising those memorable Morecambe and Wise high kicks, but her role as Evangeline Harcourt gives her, alas, only one brief dance routine.
Not to be outdone, after taking her curtsey in the finale, Ms Rippon then did a dazzling high kick just for fun - and boy, has she still got it.
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Dancing aside, she played her role really well, giving it all the drama without hamming it up.
Basically, this production is the top - it's fun, and boasts a wonderful ship set and fantastic '30s costumes, so lots of floaty dresses, fur shrugs and high, high heels.
The entire cast is hugely talented - Michael Starke (who played Sinbad in Brookside) gave up his Liverpudlian accent to do a kind of Marlon Brando, Godfather-type gangster Moonface Martin and was absolutely hilarious. What a versatile performer.
Ria Jones as Reno Sweeney showed off some really awe-inspiring singing and dancing as did Chris Ellis-Stanton as Billy Crocker.
This young man was so light on his feet I could have watched him dance all night and had a voice so suited to the Cole Porter melodies.
With such classic Cole Porter songs, who cares if there is a plot but there is a tale in this show and lots of humour too.
The only shame was that there weren't many young people in the audience last night.
Yet, this is a West End production on tour, so here in the provinces we are so lucky to have a show of such calibre. If you take my advice, you're mad to miss it.
t Anything Goes continues until April 29, box office 01603 630000 or www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk