Review: Anything Goes at Ferneham Hall, Fareham
In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking '“ but at times this production raised eyebrows for the wrong reasons.
And the biggest culprit by far was the creative licensing of the American accent.
Many of the cast took the name of the show literally; whenever a dodgy accent was heard, it dragged you out of the old Hollywood fantasy that Cole Porter creates.
Although not the worst offender, Beth Marshall as Reno Sweeney was one of the most noticeable due to her billing.
An over-pronunciation of certain vowels – ‘fella’ became ‘fellur’ and so on – grated over time, but she could just about be forgiven due to her dancing skill.
And there sure was a lot of it. Apart from a chorus member taking a tumble during a tap number, the cast handled the ambitious choreography well, which brought colour to the show’s main set pieces – Blow Gabriel Blow and Anything Goes itself.
As ladies’ man Billy Crocker, Stuart Frank’s high energy levels compensated for a few cringe-worthy high notes – but he was best received in his supporting roles as Billy masquerading as an old woman and a completely politically incorrect turn as a Chinese man.
Honourable mention goes to Nick Scovell as Moonface Martin and Jonathan Redwood as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, who could’ve taught some of their fellow actors a lesson in comic timing, and Clare Blackburn as Erma, proving that there’s no such thing as small parts in her scene-stealing turn as the flirtatious moll.
Until March 19.