REVIEW ROUND-UP: Anything Goes at the Barbican

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We round up the reviews for Kathleen Marshall’s production now playing at the Barbican.

iNews: ★★★★ “Here’s a show to blow away those lockdown blues: a slick, sparkling pleasure cruise to musical theatre bliss.”

Londonist: ★★★★ “Sutton Foster proves that bringing her over from Broadway for her West End debut was well worth it as her song, dance and repartee as Reno Sweeney are flawless. Special mentions also for Samuel Edwards’ Billy Crocker, brimming with sexy eagerness, and Carly Mercedes Dyer, whose Erma positively crackles with squeeze and tease.”

The Guardian: ★★★★★ “Director Marshall keeps a tight ship, as it were, the neat set-ups and unnecessary complications of the plot weightlessly executed.”

Time Out: ★★★★ “They don’t make ’em like this anymore – and even if they did, the massive cast and sumptuous orchestra still feel like an astonishing luxury anomaly in pingtastic 2021.”

Evening Standard: ★★★★ “Robert Lindsay gives an easygoing, shoulder-rolling, soft-shoe-shuffling performance as low-league criminal Moonface Martin that reminds you what a stage pro he is. His duet with Foster on the song ‘Friendship’ is a playful delight.”

British Theatre.com: ★★★★★ “Derek McLane’s sensational set and Jon Morrel’s nautical finery are outstanding, beautifully lit by Hugh Vanstone and with perfect sound by Jonathan Deans. Stephen Ridley’s magnificent orchestra keeps the engine room of the SS American powering along as Marshall’s extraordinary cast transported this audience to a state of intoxicating bliss.”

London Theatre 1: ★★★★★ “A 15-strong orchestra is ably conducted by Stephen Ridley, and with costumes, staging, lighting and sound quality all utterly flawless, this is musical theatre at its finest.”

The Arts Desk: ★★★★★ “Few I am sure would dispute the notion that the world has “gone mad today” and seems to be getting nuttier by the minute. What better climate, then, for so loving a reappraisal of a show that greets comparable verities in determinedly whackadoodle terms: the insanity unfolding aboard the designer Derek McLane’s SS America sure looks preferable to the headlines from which Kathleen Marshall’s revival functions as necessary respite.”

Theatre Weekly: ★★★★★ “After the last 18 months it is truly wonderful to have a production like Anything Goes on stage in London, especially with such an illustrious cast and creative team. This spectacular song and dance triumph is a madcap adventure that everyone can get a kick out of this summer.”

Broadway World: ★★★★★ “Perhaps it’s the time spent at home wishing for a good ol’ Broadway knees-up, or just that this production is as close to perfect as you can get; either way, it’s a heavenly experience. Marshall’s production of Anything Goes blows the roof off the Barbican – and we can’t wait to set sail again.”

Culture Whisper: ★★★★★ “Oozing with gloss, glamour, simple humour and old-fashioned sauciness, Anything Goes is a chance to leap off the troubled decks of S.S. Reality and swim through treacle instead.”

Musical Theatre Review: ★★★★★ “Much of the kudos goes to director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall who ticks every box but each role in this wacky tale of the madcap shenanigans that go on aboard an ocean liner is wonderfully cast, Derek McLane’s sets are works of art, Jon Morrell’s glossy costumes are a sight for sore eyes, and musical director Stephen Ridley (complete with just-visible sailor’s hat!) and his 15 musicians must be having a ball playing these sophisticated Porter melodies.”

Anything Goes will play at the Barbican Theatre until 31 October 2021.

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Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.
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Emma Clarendon on FacebookEmma Clarendon on InstagramEmma Clarendon on RssEmma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.

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