REVIEW: Anything Goes, Barbican Theatre ✭✭✭✭✭

Douglas Mayo has been left Delirious with joy by tonight’s opening of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes starring Sutton Foster at the Barbican Theatre, London.

Anything Goes review
Sutton Foster and the company of Anything Goes. Photo: Tristram Kenton

Anything Goes
Barbican Theatre
5 Stars
4 August 2021
Book Anything Goes Tickets

Kathleen Marshall’s revival of Cole Porter’s musical Anything Goes docked at London’s Barbican Theatre to an audience high on adrenalin after a year without theatre.

Headed by a true Broadway star in the form of the one and only Sutton Foster, it was as though Christmas had arrived early. Foster was an absolute delight as she powered through some of the greatest musical comedy numbers ever written. No laugh was lost, gags were shared and her comradery with the British cast was quickly bringing smiles to the audience. We revelled in her star power and stood for no less than three standing ovations, one at the end of Act One and one after the first number in act two. Like disciples worshipping a goddess, she had us in her thrall intoxicated with joy from start to finish.

Anything Goes tickets
Robert Lindsay, Jack Wilcox, Sutton Foster, Haydn Oakley and Samuel Edwards in Anything Goes. Photo: Tristram Kenton

Anything Goes features a large number of characters each making their way to England on the SS American, a ship whose crossing is bereft of celebrities of whom passengers can boast when recalling their voyage to friends. So throw in a gangster, a love sick young man, a bullish businessman, tap-dancing sailors, chorus girls and assorted others and every comedic possibility and you’ve got a hilarious evening in the making and it’s served up like a 10 course treat by this astonishing cast.

Samuel Edwards as Billy Crocker was a knockout as the lovelorn suitor. In a sampler of what was to come You’re The Top showed the audience a chemistry with Sutton Foster’s Reno Sweeney that was only topped by his solo Easy To Love. Edwards showed audiences that this leading man was someone we should be looking out for in future.

Sutton Foster Anything Goes
Sutton Foster, Selina Hamilton, Alexandra Wright, Charlene Forde, Frances Dee. Photo: Tristram Kenton

With supporting leads including Robert Lindsay’s public enemy number 13 – Moonface Martin showing his legendary comic chops, Gary Wilmot’s bringing his prowess to the bullish Yale man Elisha as he stumbled around the deck sans glasses, Felicity Kendall’s Mrs Harcourt permanently in a state of the vapours as she nears her daughters marriage of financial convenience and Haydn Oakley as Lord Evelyn who discovers his inner macho as the gypsy in him comes out (sensational)!

Derek McLane’s sensational set and Jon Morrel’s nautical finery are outstanding, beautifully lit by Hugh Vanstone and with perfect sound by Jonathan Deans. Stephen Ridley’s magnificent orchestra keeps the engine room of the SS American powering along as Marshall’s extraordinary cast transported this audience to a state of intoxicating bliss.

Word is already out about this production of Anything Goes with an extension announced to 31 October so don’t miss out. It’s left me Delirious and wanting another voyage.


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