Anything Goes

It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely - it’s the Great Depression as you don’t know it, full of the glitz, glamour and luxury of old Broadway. Kathleen Marshall’s adaptation of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes is a perfect example as to why some great musicals don’t need to be updated in order to wow audiences.

A show that we need on the West End

Set on the SS American, Anything Goes follows the evangelical cabaret performer Reno Sweeney (Kerry Ellis) as she and her friend, Moonface Martin (Denis Lawson), help Billy Crocker (Samuel Edwards) sneak aboard the luxury liner by assuming a fake identity. In doing so, the group attempts to help Billy sway the love of his life, Hope Harcourt (Nicole-Lily Baisden) away from her fiancé, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Haydn Oakley). What ensues is a mischief-filled musical of mistaken identity, fun disguises, word-play and sweeping dancing numbers that create a genuinely beautiful theatre escape.

Everything in this show is spectacular from the choreography that entrances us to the tech, which serves to remove us and the characters from the harshness of reality. From Hugh Vanatone’s lighting design that mimics the romantic, naturalistic, and fairy-tale atmosphere of the show, before dropping us head-first into more comedic songs like Friendship, emphasising the humour with lighting. With Derek McLane’s larger than life and intrinsically detailed set Anything Goes is truly a moment of escape back to the golden age of musicals.

Ellis is a powerhouse of an actress. She pulls us in slowly with her sweet rendition of I Get a Kick Out of You before showcasing the range of her talent in the Act One Finale, Anything Goes, something that has us on our feet cheering by the end. Balancing the wit and cheek of Sweeney, Ellis has a gravity that resounds and stays with us throughout the show. In her larger-than-life performance, Ellis owns the Barbican Centre stage. Edwards has a certain charm about him as Billy Crocker, and it may be his ‘aw shucks’ Yankee interpretation of the character. Whilst seemingly straining to reach some of the top notes of It’s Delovely, Edwards manages to have us swooning (and rooting) for a character who in this day and age should be entirely unlikable. Carly Mercedes Dyer’s rendition of Buddie Beware is a fun and upbeat character song that showcases her talent. Even though this is meant as a comedic interlude, there is definitely some sound advice to be taken from Dyer’s performance, as she comes across as a well-rounded woman who knows what she wants and won’t compromise on it, which is always amazing to watch.

If there’s no cure like (time) travel, Anything Goes definitively proves that is the case. There is something magical about old musicals, and this one is no different. Anything Goes is a brilliant example of the lost art of overtures, full bodied orchestrations and sweeping instrumental breaks where the actors can really show off their dancing abilities. It’s musical escapism at its best and from the year we have, Anything Goes is a show that we need on the West End.

Reviews by Katerina Partolina Schwartz


Villain, Interrupted

Alexandra Palace / Leicester Square Theatre

Grace Campbell: A Show About Me(n)

Garrick Theatre

Bonnie & Clyde

The Mill at Sonning Theatre

We’ll Always Have Paris

The Space

Notre Dame


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Directed by the multi-award-winning Broadway director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall, this production for London features farcical fun and spectacular show stopping dance routines, all set to Cole Porter’s joyful score, including ‘I Get A Kick Out of You’, ‘You’re the Top’ and the show stopping ‘Anything Goes’.

Most Popular See More

Grease the Musical

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets