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A pleasure of a cruise.

Byline: By Jennifer Bradbury

Anything Goes at a North East theatre next week as Jennifer Bradbury discovers

Theatre-goers are invited to join the passengers and crew of the SS American in the musical spectacular, Anything Goes, at Newcastle's Theatre Royal next week.

From the golden age of the American comedy musical, Anything Goes is a hedonistic pleasure cruise packed with timeless Cole Porter numbers.

Luxury liner the SS American sets sail for England with a cargo of colourful characters. Stowaway Billy Crocker is chasing the delectable deb Hope Harcourt while being pursued in turn by ex-evangelist turned nightclub hostess, Reno Sweeney. And amid all this romance, gangster Moonface Martin and a smattering of dimwitted FBI agents add high farce to this romantic comedy.

The multi award-winning Anything Goes first dazzled Broadway in 1934. It has recently been a major hit for the National Theatre and transferred to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane where it played to great critical and commercial success.

The riotous plot and wisecracking script, co-written by Jeeves author PG Wodehouse, gave Porter the inspiration to write some of his most memorable songs. Anything Goes is packed to the gunnels with 15 witty and romantic hits including You're the Top, It's De-lovely, Blow, Gabriel, Blow and the title song Anything Goes.

Sandra Dickinson (who plays Evangeline Harcourt) has enjoyed a glittering theatre and TV career. In the last few years she has become a regular in the West End Theatre, at last changing her image in such productions as A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Sir Peter Hall, in which she played Eunice Hubbel and Blanche Dubois, alternately.

More recently Sandra performed in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for a year, playing the role of The Baroness to Victor Spinetti's Baron.

Michael Starke (Moonface Martin) is probably best known for playing the role of Sinbad in Brookside between 1989 and 2000. More recently he's been a regular in The Royal. His varied theatre credits include leading roles in The Play What I Wrote (Wyndham's Theatre and Liverpool Playhouse); Smee in Peter Pan (Cardiff New Theatre) and Sammy Johnston in Blood Brothers (Leicester Haymarket Theatre).

Barry Howard (Elisha Whitney) is best known as the supercilious Barry Stuart-Hargreaves, the champion ballroom dancer in BBC TV's Hi-Di-Hi! Barry's numerous West End credits include Oliver, Boys In The Band, Scrooge and The Pirates of Penzance.

And Ria Jones' (Reno Sweeney) theatre credits include Evita, Cats and Les Miserables.

The musical runs from June 19-24.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 15, 2006
Words:411
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