Anything Goes at the Royal & Derngate Northampton Review

AnythingGoesAnything Goes
Royal & Derngate, Northampton

11-16 May 2015


Reviewed by Rachael Osborne

Before going to see this I really knew very little about it, apart from the title song which is one of my all-time favourites and I knew we could expect a tap routine to it. We went to the Derngate in Northampton. There was ample parking nearby and we parked in the multi-story which cost us £1 for the evening. The theatre had a wonderful atmosphere and the excitement in the air was evident. The theatre was clean and well lit, and all members of staff were really helpful and polite.

We entered the auditorium to find the curtains open and the set showing a bar area visible, which is rather unusual. Several members of the cast and a couple of band members then came on stage to socialise in the bar. This was fascinating to watch and went on for over quarter of an hour before the show started! It was a lovely way to start the show and really set the scene.

Anything Goes is set on board a ship and tells the story of Billy Crocker and his sweetheart Hope Harcourt who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, and Reno Sweeney who is interested in Billy. There is also a gangster on board and Billy is mistaken for Snake Eyes the most wanted criminal.

The sets and costumes perfectly suited the story. I loved the way that the cast members changed the scenery so that you never saw the stage crew. The set had a basic background to it that was altered and changed as needed. Costume wise I particularly enjoyed the costumes for the musical number Blow Gabriel Blow. Reno and her Angels were dressed in red, and Reno had feathers out the back of her costume. The dance routine that went with the song was simply brilliant. There was lots of partner work with the men lifting and throwing the ladies around. A very well-choreographed and perfectly performed number. As were all the dances. Another one that had everyone in the audience captivated was Anything Goes at the end of Act 1. The tap dancing in that was frankly breath-taking. What amazed me was how Debbie was one step ahead of the others and remained so, the dancing was so precise. It was thoroughly enjoyable and had the audience talking excitedly about it as they left for the interval. One of my other favourites has to be The Gypsy in me, sang by Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Stephen Matthews). It was a really enjoyable song, fabulously performed and had the audience in stitches. All the musical numbers were superb with harmonies at several points. The entire performance was a fabulous show from start to finish, and perfectly cast. In particular Debbie Kurup as Reno was captivating, she was so animated on stage and I found myself watching only her on several occasions. Her energy in the dance routines was amazing. I also think that Shaun Willamson as Moonface Martin, Matt Rawle as Billy, and Stephen Matthews as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh were brilliant.

An absolutely fabulous show! A must see for anyone who loves musicals, and dancing! A fab night out!

Rating: 5/5 thumbs_up

Tickets cost from £16 to £36.50 (plus £2.80 transaction fee).

Anything Goes is at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton until 16 May 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01604 624811.

Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP | 01604 624811


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