PLEASE NOTE, THIS SHOW HAS NOW CLOSED.
Another huge success form our adult group…read the NODA review below!
Show: ‘Anything Goes’
Society: Valley Actors
Venue: Rakefoot Hall, Crawshawbooth
Director: Grant Bromley
Musical Director: Grant Bromley
Choreographer: Charlotte Ormerod
Reviewers: Luke Taberer & Lloyd Bamber
The musical ‘Anything Goes’ with music and lyrics by Cole Porter has been well loved since it was first staged on Broadway in 1934. The story is mainly set aboard the S.S. American, an ocean liner travelling from New York to London. We have numerous intertwined love stories, with the main one being between Billy and Hope. Billy has assistance from a few other passengers to help him win Hopes affections, as she is already engaged to someone else. The script provides an easy to follow narrative with some well known musical numbers. It is a superb choice for community theatre and Valley Actors definitely did justice to it.
As the show opened we got our first chance to hear the three piece band who accompanied the cast throughout the whole production. The sound created was a well balanced, clear and uncomplicated orchestration that supported the cast well. The initial bar scene had some background piano music, however this was slightly loud and made it a strain to hear the opening dialogue, which set the story up for the rest of the show. This slightly off sound balance did not carry on after the first scene and throughout the rest of the show the cast could always be heard over the music. We progressed from this front of tabs scene onto the full stage, which was nicely designed and spilt over two levels allowing the band to be on stage underneath the raised platform.
As the show moved forwarded we were treated to some marvellous singing with some nice harmonies. The principles did a great job of acting their songs and getting the required light and shade across to the audience. The full chorus also performed their numbers well, having the required big impact of a full stage of singers. The dance routines which accompanied the singing were also very good. The size of the stage and space that was available for the routines had obviously been considered. On one or two occasions the routines did seem slightly squashed but never the less everyone could still complete the routines. It was also nice to see the full company taking part in the tap number.
One of our favourite numbers in the show was the duet ‘Friendship’ performed between ‘Moonface’ and ‘Reno’, this was a really memorable scene in Act One. With the characters working together and also sounding great, it brought a smile to the whole audience. ‘Blow, Gabriel, Blow’ was also performed extremely well, featuring some nice choreography and really capturing a cabaret style of performance that this number is representing.
The show was cast superbly, with some people being ‘made for the role’ they played. They obviously enjoyed the show and the audience could see the energy that the cast performed with and their glow on stage. All acting was to a high standard, with very believable relationships between characters being achieved. Diction was good throughout. The script has some very wordy sections, but these were delivered well and the audience could completely understand the story. Comedy elements were also sharply delivered and the correct response from the audience was seen every time.
The costuming for this show was truly stunning with them all fitting superbly, also looking so apt and fabulous on stage. The second act reveal costumes were very nice and had the right impact on stage. The use of wigs can often be a sticking point in shows. But the wigs used here didn’t go a miss and looked right. Make up was also of a good standard.
The set looked nice and the well used lighting helped to enhance its appeal further, as colours were put to good use. Due to only one follow spotlight being available, on occasion principles were left in the ‘dark’, while the other was singing to them, which was slightly odd. The split levels on the set were utilised to good effect, allowing action to take place on both levels adding a little variation to the mostly static set. Overall the sound was of a good quality, with even all of the none microphoned chorus members being picked up well by the stage microphones.
This show created a real feel good finale, with the whole audience clapping along. For the first ever musical that this group has performed and it being some members first ever time on stage, the standard of production that was achieved was fantastic. Everybody involved should be proud of what they have managed to accomplish and be pleased with the happy feeling that the show managed to radiate out to the audience. This was a very enjoyable production and we are sure everyone who attended felt they got more than their money’s worth. We would like to thank the group for becoming a member of NODA and for their kind invitation to see this production. We look forward to seeing what they next have in store.