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Review: Anything Goes - Timeless tunes are still shipshape

Grand Opera House, Belfast

By Andrew Johnston

The audience at the Grand Opera House certainly got a kick out of the latest staging of Anything Goes.

Based on the 2011 Broadway revival of Cole Porter's classical seaborne musical, the show cruised into Belfast on a wave of snazzy dance moves, spiffing songs and witty wordplay.

The likes of I Get A Kick Out Of You, You're The Top, It's De-Lovely and, of course, the ubiquitous title song were belted out by a talented ensemble cast. Shaun Williamson - Barry from EastEnders himself - landed a plum role as hapless gangster Moonface Martin, public enemy No 13.

He was matched in the comedy stakes by Stephen Matthews, whose turn as English aristocrat Lord Evelyn Oakleigh was the hammiest thing this side of an RSC production of Babe. But much of the heavy lifting was done by the magnificent Debbie Kurup as nightclub singer Reno Sweeney, and Matt Rawle. If a nostalgic confection featuring menacing mobsters, dizzy dames and tap-dancing sailors sounds like it'd float your boat, best hop onboard before this ship sails.

Four stars

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