Review: Chesterfield Operatic Society on the crest of a wave in Anything Goes

Anything Goes. Photo by Ian Boler
Anything Goes. Photo by Ian Boler
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Singing shipmates pushed the boat out to launch Chesterfield Operatic Society’s production of the ocean-going comedy Anything Goes in spectacular style.

The maiden voyage ran smoothly last night (Tuesday) which augurs well for a successful passage through the rest of this week at the town’s Pomegranate Theatre.

A talented, well-drilled crew sang and danced up a storm in dazzling displays of teamwork, proving a credit to musical director Jonathan Davies and choreographer Julie Metcalfe.

This slick, lively and colourful show fizzed along at a cracking pace under the captaincy of director Geoff Whitfield.

Sarah Morrell heads the cast as the sassy, flirty nightclub singer and former evangelist Reno Sweeney. She makes a spectacular entrance with her backing singers and lights up the stage with each appearance and song. Sarah is charged with fronting some of the show’s best numbers such as I Get A Kick

and Blow Gabriel Blow which she does with confidence, ease and lots of personality.

Alison Doram gives a lovely performance as Hope Harcourt who is engaged to an aristocrat but whose heart belongs elsewhere. Her performance of the ballad All Through The Night is among the musical highlights.

Robert Spencer is truly a man with a golden voice which makes him a perfect fit for the role Billy Crocker. He stamps his comic mark on the stowaway character with multiple aliases including the contemporaily named Antonio Banderas Jose Mourinho.

Karl Brennan and Sue Higgins ramp up the comedy in their respective roles of public enemy number 13 Moonface Martin who is disguised as a clergyman and his kooky girlfriend Bonnie. Not only do they have a talent for making people laugh but they are fine singers too as shown in her solo Let’s Step Out and his number Be Like The Bluebird.

Daniel Wheeldon returns to the stage after a 20-year absence to play the upper-class twit Sir Evelyn Oakleigh, Yvonne Taylor makes an impressive debut with the company as Hope Harcourt’s mum and Danny Winson gives it plenty of Alan Sugar attitude in his role as the hiring and firing boss Elisha J Whitney.

There are some delightful cameo performances too, especially from David Orange as the ever so camp purser who minces around the stage and Kelly Wallhead and Nic Crossley as the chattering Chinese passengers.

Fabulous costumes make this show as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the ears.

Anything Goes is Delovely, Delicious, Delightful and everyone who sees it is in for a swell time.

Grab your boarding pass before the ship sails for the final time on Saturday night, November 26.