Smash hit London ‘musical of the year’ heading to Edinburgh with all star cast

Simon Callow, Kerry Ellis, Denis Lawson and Bonnie Langford in Anything Goes, which is coming to Edinburgh’s Festival Theater in May

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The new casting will bring Four Weddings and a Funeral star Simon Callow, former Eastenders’ favorite Bonnie Langford, New Tricks star Denis Lawson and award-winning West End star Kerry Ellis to the Festival Theatre, in May.

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Producer Sir Howard Panter, one time owner of the Edinburgh Playhouse, says, “We are delighted to be back with the glorious musical Anything Goes. I’m thrilled that this energetic and uplifting show will be led by Kerry Ellis, Denis Lawson, Bonnie Langford and Simon Callow, with an ensemble of the finest there is to offer, including tap dancing sailors, and a full-sized live orchestra.

“We are delighted to take this majestic show to audiences across the UK for the first time, so they can enjoy the glorious set design, breathtaking choreography and stage direction, and of course the wonderful score.”

​Anything Goes, which will run at the Nicolson Street venue from May 11 to 21 is set onboard the SS American as it heads out to sea. As it does, etiquette and convention head out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love… proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, a comical disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail.

​No stranger to Edinburgh having appeared in the musicals 9 To 5 and Spamalot here recently, Langford, who plays Evangeline Harcourt in the piece, says, “I simply adore this show. It’s vibrant, fun and bursting with a feel-good energy that is contagious both on and off stage. It really is musical theater at its finest.”​

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Callow, who appears as Elisha Whitney, too is a familiar face to Capital audiences having made his professional debut here in 1973.

The actor who has returned many times since, adds, “Like everyone who saw Anything Goes last summer, I was swept away by it. The sheer joy of sharing its exuberance, wit and style with my fellow theatregoers-the perfect antidote to Covid and all its miseries from him. I couldn’t be happier to be joining the show as we spread the joy around the country.”

​Reprising their co-starring roles at the Festival Theater will be Samuel Edwards as Billy Crocker, Carly Mercedes Dyer as Erma, Nicole-Lily Baisden as Hope Harcourt and Haydn Oakley as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.

With music and lyrics by Cole Porter, the hilarious musical romp across the Atlantic features some of the theatre’s most memorable songs, including I Get A Kick Out of

You, Anything Goes, Blow, Gabriel, Blow and It’s De-Lovely.

Ellis​, who plays Reno Sweene​y, says, ​“This​ ​glorious show is classic musical theater at its very best.​ ​I can’t​ ​wait to get my tap shoes on and share this fabulous musical with audiences up and down the country.”

Lawson, who plays Moonface Martin, adds, ​“I’m delighted to be joining the cast of this great classic musical. Anything Goes is uplifting, energetic, and hilarious with an unforgettable Cole Porter score. Audiences are in for a real treat.” Tickets for Anything Goes are available now here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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