Anything Goes was performed by the Cotswold Savoyards, who have performed all around Cheltenham for many years. This production was another to add to their ever growing list of achievements. I was yet to see anything by them but I had been singing the soundtrack to the musical all day.
As soon as the lights went down and the overture began, I couldn’t help but feel a twang of nostalgia for my days on the stage and an even bigger twang of sympathy to the nerves that must be floating around stage for the cast on an opening night.
Sailing on the SS America, there was always something going on. The large chorus kept things lively and were fantastic to listen to. I felt that some of the solos not projected enough and became lost under the orchestra, microphones may have come in handy… Someone that didn’t need any help was Bonnie who sang “Heaven Hop” with ease and control. I also really enjoyed “It’s Delovely” by Billy and Hope, with the chorus helping, a very cute number.
The character roles were a little muddling, with three happy couples at the end I wasn’t sure who to focus on, or even who to laugh at or to sympathise with. Saying that, Moonface Martin provided much needed light relief.
The dancing wasn’t exactly the strongest point, but everyone did get stuck in, even the woman in the second line who had forgotten her tap shoes! The tapping was basic yet effective, with a range of abilities. I will give a special mention to a Mr Stuart Driscoll of the chorus. He has clearly had professional training and nailed his role as a drunk sailor as well as tapping out some perfect triple timesteps turning! Just shows you don’t need a big role to shine.
It was incredibly heart warming to see a cast, who all clearly get on so well, have an amazing time and sing and dance their hearts out. There were, of course, classic mistakes and slip ups you would expect from an amateur dramatics performance but it just made it all the more fun.
Everyone was great, but naturally Lola the showdog stole the show.