Review: Anything Goes

By

This year’s DULOG (Durham University Light Opera Group) Gala show has done this acclaimed musical theatre company proud. Anything Goes, this year’s production of choice is a superb showcase of rich talent and enduring passion. Overseen by the masterful Director, Emily Phillips, together with Assistant Director, Emilia Lewis, the production is confident, powerful and brimming with enthusiasm and joy.

Set on an ocean liner, the SS American, bound from New York to London, Anything Goes follows the madcap antics of those on board. Central is Billy Crocker, a charming young stowaway, who has fallen in love with wealthy heiress Hope Harcourt (played by Charlotte Dixon), who is already engaged to an English aristocrat, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Crocker is played expertly by Matthew Bourne, while effortlessly embodies Reno Sweeney, a nightclub singer who assists Billy in his bid to win Hope’s heart.

While the acting quality is compelling across the whole cast, this is a musical, and the musical facet of this production is exquisite

Dixon provides an outstanding rendition of Harcourt. Her acting style is at once sensitive, congenial and expressive, providing her scenes with sophistication and warmth. Bourne’s rendition of Crocker is rich with boyish charm and a strong sense of fun.

is a sultry Erma Latour, who sleeps with numerous of the ship’s sailors before playing them off against one another for her hand in marriage, while also warning them that she is not easily pleased. Sumner is by turns amusing, endearing and unsettling in her command of young men’s hearts.

Also strong is George Cass, playing the Ship’s Captain, whose performance is assured and urbane in equal measure. Rory Maguire, who plays the Ship’s Purser, gives a masterclass in excess and unbounded ebullience, offering a comedic and charismatic performance.

The professionalism and passion each cast member demonstrates is truly stirring

While the acting quality is compelling across the whole cast, this is a musical, and the musical facet of this production is exquisite. A seventeen-piece orchestra lays on melodious accompaniment throughout, which makes the actors’ and actresses’ performances shine all the more. Sound and lighting move in tandem with the onrushing of the plot, guiding the production from each set-piece scene to the next. The setting of an ocean liner is faultless in its design, owing to the diligent work of James Fox-Robinson, while the costumes (designed by and Ciara Carrington) are very well-appointed.

Perhaps most striking in this production is the use of dance, choreographed skillfully by Rhyen Hunt. The professionalism and passion each cast member demonstrates is truly stirring, with evident care made to ensure a smooth run. Each radiant scene glides into the next, moving with water’s easy tread and supple fluidity. The dancing scenes are elegant, and subtle yet profound – they are in their execution quite simply excellent.

Clearly, DULOG’s gleaming reputation is secured for another year. Indeed, one can only eagerly anticipate what they may put on next.

Image Credit: DULOG Theatre Company

One thought on “Review: Anything Goes

  • As usual a tremendous show with both lead performers and chorus absolutely brilliant.
    The group numbers were particularly outstanding, played with energy, synchronisity and an incredible amount of talent.
    I obviously look forward to the next production.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.