Sell-out hit musical Anything Goes at London's Barbican starring Robert Lindsay and Felicity Kendall comes to the big screen
Sell-out hit stage musical Anything Goes featuring an all-star cast led by Robert Lindsay and Felicity Kendall is heading for the big screen.
It can be enjoyed by audiences all over the UK with special screenings in hundreds of cinemas from November 28.
Joining Lindsay and Kendall in the Cole Porter musical was Gary Wilmot and Haydn Gwynne.
Its full-house-run at the Barbican in London garnered five -star reviews and broke Barbican box office records grossing £717,000 in its last week alone, the highest in that theatre’s 39-year history.
Producer Howard Panter said: “We’re thrilled with the response to this glorious production,” he said. “It just goes to show that, as we come out of the pandemic, London theatre is very much alive and people cannot get enough of this energetic and uplifting classic musical.
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“From outstanding leading actors, to the spectacular supporting company, the glorious set design, the breathtaking choreography and stage direction – and, of course, the wonderful score – it really is ‘the show of the year’.”
Such was the demand for tickets that not everyone got to see it. “So it seems only fitting,” said Panter, “that such a spectacular five-star production should be shared with a wider audience in cinemas nationwide. Anything Goes was such a joyful, uplifting experience for Barbican theatregoers which is why we’re very excited to share this truly wonderful musical with audiences all over the country.”
The original London cast of Anything Goes were filmed in October by multi-cameras over three performances. The film of this magical show will now be screened in over 450 cinemas nationwide from Sunday November 28.
Audiences are in for a treat. The show is an irresistible slice of blue chip musical comedy with songs and lyrics by Cole Porter and a book originally co-written by PG Wodehouse.
When the SS American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention head out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love... proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, a comical disguise or two and some good old-fashioned blackmail.
This musical voyage across the Atlantic featuring a collection of some of theatre’s most memorable songs – including I Get A Kick Out of You, You’re the Top, Blow, Gabriel, Blow, It’s De-Lovely and the title song – invokes the Golden Age of high society on the high seas.
Then there are the breath-taking performances. The Guardian praised leading lady Sutton Foster’s “full-beam lustre” while Time Out noted the way she “effortlessly steals every scene”.
“When I first did the show,” said Sutton who won a Tony Award for her 2011 performance, “it was probably one of the greatest stage experiences of my career.” So when Kathleen Marshall called out of the blue to ask her to dust down her tap shoes and step into the role again, she didn’t have to think for very long.
That said, it proved a different experience, she says, second time around. “The first time, it took me a while to find Reno. She seemed so self-assured and confident. She’s bold, she’s sexy, she’s strong, she stands in the centre of the room and loves it. But she has humanity, too. To be truthful, I was a bit scared of her. Ten years on, though, I felt I didn’t have to try as hard.”
Sutton was surrounded by a stellar line-up: Robert Lindsay, Gary Wilmot and Felicity Kendal. Kathleen first saw Lindsay when he starred in Me And My Girl on Broadway in 1986. “He stole our hearts and then he broke them because he never came back. He’s such an intelligent, creative performer and always with that ready twinkle in his eye.”
He plays small-time crook, Moonface Martin aka Public Enemy Number 13.
Gary said: “I wanted to be in this show for the simple reason that it’s the ultimate good-time musical. Musicals from that period – the 30s – very often have a vein of humour running through them. But this is belly-laugh funny. And there’s not a dud song in the score. I just jumped at it.
“I’ve never played a role like this before. Elisha Whitney loves a drink, loves the good life. I don’t think he’s overly bright and yet he’s somehow managed to build up this successful business. He’s very much in love although he doesn’t quite realise it at first in his relationship with Evangeline Harcourt.”
Evangeline is played by Felicity Kendal, her first role in a musical in a career stretching across six decades. “You can find a show with a wonderful score,” she says, “another with great dancing. It’s rare in my opinion to have one that has both in the same production.
“Then, when I Googled footage of Sutton singing various numbers from the Broadway original, I was blown away. After the awful year-and-a-half we’d had, I couldn’t resist something so joyful and uplifting. I just wanted to be a part of this voyage.”
Anything Goes is in cinemas nationwide on Sunday November 28.