Nunn's Anything Goes to Drury Lane after Lady, 7 OctDate: 6 May 2003
Trevor Nunn's final musical as artistic director of the National Theatre - his Olivier Award-winning revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes - is scheduled to follow his previous multi award-winner My Fair Lady in transferring to the West End's Theatre Royal Drury Lane (See The Goss, 2 May 2003).
Cameron Mackintosh, who produces My Fair Lady in the West End, confirmed last week that the Lerner and Loewe musical would close on 30 August 2003, ahead of possible Broadway and Australian productions (See News, 1 May 2003). Anything Goes is expected to open for a limited season on 7 October 2003, following previews from 25 September, though exact dates are still to be confirmed.
On the South Bank, where Anything Goes finished a sold-out three-and-a-half months in March after winning the 2003 Olivier for Outstanding Musical Production the month before, the 34-strong cast was led by Sally Ann Triplett as celebrity evangelist and nightclub entertainer Reno Sweeney and John Barrowman as Billy Crocker (a role he previously played in the 1989 West End production of the musical) with Simon Day as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, Denis Quilley as Eli Whitney, Mary Stockley as Hope Harcourt and Annette McLaughlin as Erma. Many of the original company are expected to accompany the transfer.
Hopes were raised for a transfer ever since the show received ecstatic reviews when it opened at the National on 18 December 2003, but they looked dashed when no suitably large venue was available and Nunn refused to allow anyone to "shrink" the size of the production (See The Goss, 23 Mar 2003). On his departure as artistic director at the end of March, Nunn cited Anything Goes as his favourite musical from his National years and joked that "maybe I should take it with me so there's a chance of reviving it". He said the production deserved a longer life and more audiences "because you don't strike the chord this emphatically that often".
Originally seen on Broadway in 1934 and in London a year later, Anything Goes has an original book by Guy Bolton and PG Wodehouse, with music and lyrics by Porter, whose other musicals include High Society and Kiss Me Kate. The score includes "I Get a Kick Out of You", "You're the Top", "Be Like the Bluebird" and the title song.
The National revival has a revised book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman, choreography by Stephen Mear, design by John Gunter, costumes by Anthony Powell, lighting by David Hersey and musical arrangements by Michael Gibson.
- by Terri Paddock