Getting a kick out of SLO…

Feb 26 2020 | By More

It’s De-Lovely at the King’s this week

Edinburgh’s oldest musical theatre company, Southern Light Opera, is taking to the High Seas next week with a production of Cole Porter’s breakthrough musical, Anything Goes, at the King’s.

The show is set on the SS American as it makes its way from New York to London, carrying with a bizarre mix passengers and crew. A young Wall Street broker in love with an heiress who is engaged to a Lord, a nightclub singer and her ‘angels’, and a gangster – what could possibly go wrong?

Anything Goes Logo

Big, frothy and fun, as you might expect from a show which has an original book by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse, this is something of a departure for the company after last year’s Hello Dolly and My Fair Lady from the year before.

“It is a great testament to the versatility of Southern Light that that this year they have decided to tackle a frothy comedy,” says Andy Johnston who is directing his tenth production with the company, “especially after the high drama and emotions of Hello Dolly and My Fair Lady.

“In fact, some of the very same principals from these recent shows are taking on the very different challenges of Anything Goes and have risen to the task brilliantly.”

One if the biggest challenges is the lead role of evangelist turned nightclub singer Reno Sweeney, who gets the brilliant title number with its delicious forced rhythmic structure – In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as shocking but now god knows, anything goes.

charismatic, confident and unapologetic

Taking that challenge is Toni MacFarlane, who says that when she heard Southern Light were doing Anything Goes she jumped at the chance to audition for Reno Sweeney.

“It’s a fabulous alto part with great musical numbers. She is charismatic, confident and unapologetic, meaning that she is an absolute joy to play.”

Southern Light’s Anything Goes company for 2020.

“I vaguely remember seeing Southern Light’s last performance of Anything Goes when I was only 8-years-old when my mum was in the production as one of Reno’s Angels. Now, 15 years later, I get to join mum onstage doing the same musical. Although I probably had no recollection of the crazy storyline back then, the catchy Cole Porter tunes have stuck with me.”

Having premiered in 1934 – with a few modifications to the book, either forced on the producer because a tragic fire on a cruise ship had too many resonances with the original plot or because it was a “a hopeless mess”, depending on who you want to believe, Anything Goes has had many revivals.

Andy Johnston says it is a classic of its era: “a typical 1930’s screwball comedy – but could also claim to be one of the very first Jukebox musicals as revivals as early as the 1960s delved into the Cole Porter songbook and bolstered the show with some of his greatest tunes.

“Songs such as I Get A Kick Out Of You, It’s Delovely, Friendship and of course, Blow Gabriel Blow and the title track need no introduction. This show genuinely features some of the greatest songs ever written for musical theatre.”

Anything Goes is an all singing, all dancing musical spectacular, with great songs, fabulous comedy, fabulous costumes and lighting and a tremendous 16 piece orchestra – everything people have come to expect from an evening with Southern Light.”


Anything Goes
King’s Theatre 2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000.
Tue 3 – Sat 7 March 2020
Evenings 7.30pm; Mat, Sat: 2.30pm
Tickets and details:  Book here.


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