1997 – Anything Goes

Anything Goes

Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter. Original book by P.G.Wodehouse and Guy Bolton. New book by Timothy Crouse, John Weidman, Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse.


Monday, 12th May to Saturday, 17th May, 1997
The Spadesbourne Suite, Burcot Lane, Bromsgrove.

Cast And Credits


  • Stage Director: Roberta Morrell
  • Musical Director: Alan Biddle
  • Reno Sweeney: Lynda Dunn
  • Hope Harcourt: Sue Thomas
  • Sir Evelyn Oakleigh: Malcolm Dunn
  • Billy Crocker: J. Paul Murdock
  • Moonface Martin: George Brooks
  • Erma: Tracey Jarvis
  • Elisha Whitney: John Teece
  • Evangeline Harcourt: Hilary Holland
  • Captain: Ian G. Cox
  • Purser: Dave Pavely
  • Henry T. Dobson: David Shaw
  • John: David Holland
  • Luke: Kath Walker
  • Fred the Bartender: Peter Hensman
  • Young Girl: Gill Rowlands
  • Young Sailor: Steve Stanier
  • Sailors Quartet: Alan Bailey, Phil Fidoe, John Wheeler, Andie Moore



In a Manhattan bar short-sighted millionaire Elisha Whitney meets his assistant Billy Crocker who has organised his boss’s transatlantic trip. Reno Sweeney, a club singer, arrives angrily as Billy has stood her up, and Billy admits to her that he loves another.

The S.S. American is about to set sail and Billy arrives just in time to deliver Whitney’s passport. Evangeline Harcourt, an old flame of Whitney’s is also on board with her daughter, Hope, and Hope’s fiance, Sir Evelyn Oakliegh. They plan to marry on board. This news is devastating for Billy as it is Hope that he secretly loves. In desperation he stows away.

Also on board are two more stow aways, world renound gangster Moonface Martin, and his moll, Erma. They help Billy out with a fake passport, and also steal Whitney’s glasses so that he cannnot discover Billy’s presence on board. As Billy and Moonface work there way through a number of disguises to prevent capture, Reno falls for Sir Evelyn.

Billy and moonface are caught, but Billy has Moonface’s passport, and instead of being locked up he is used to satisfy the passengers hunger for celebrities as the ships biggest star.

When Reno puts on a show for the passengers, she asks for those present to confess their sins. Sir Evelyn, to Hope’s horror, confesses to a fling with a chineese girl, and Billy confesses his true identity. He and moonface are locked up.

Two chineese converts are also locked away for gambling, and Billy and Moonface, after a quick game of strip poker, steal their cloths and escape. They arrive at the wedding in disguise and manage to break it up. A quick switch around and a triple wedding takes place instead with Hope and Billy, Reno and Evelyn and Evangeline and Whitney getting married.

Song List

Act 1:

  • I Get a Kick Out of You (Reno)
  • There’s No Cure Like Travel (Sailors and Passengers)
  • Bon Voyage (Sailors and Passengers)
  • You’re the Top (Reno & Billy)
  • Easy to Love (Billy & Hope)
  • The Crew Song (Elisha Whitney)
  • There’ll Always be a Lady Fair Friendship (Quartet)
  • It’s Delovely (Billy & Hope)
  • Anything Goes (Reno & Company)

Act 2:

  • Public Enemy Number One (Captain, Purser & Company)
  • Blow, Gabriel, Blow (Reno & Company)
  • Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye (Hope)
  • The Gypsey in Me (Evelyn)
  • Be Like a Bluebird (Moonface)
  • All Through the Night (Billy & Hope)
  • Buddie Beware (Erma and Quartet)
  • I Get a Kick Out of You (Reno, Evelyn, Billy & Chorus)
  • Anything Goes (Company)

What The Press Said



Steam Ahead

… Expressive and motivated stowaway J Paul Murdock reveals his vocal talents with Easy To Love and he has excellent singing partners in Sue Thomas (Hope) and Lynda Dunn (Reno).

Malcolm Dunn’s Sir Evelyn is comical, but it is George Brooks who makes the most of his part as the gregarious gangster.

Review by Pete Swingler for the Birmingham Evening Mail

Only The Best!

Anything Goes! certainly doesn’t apply to Bromsgrove Operatic Society’s most recent production. The show should have been re-titled ‘only the best!’ as principle characters, chorus, costume, casting, choreography and orchestra were all excellent.

Not one word of criticism was heard from the audience, only people singing the refrains. I have rarely seen a show of this calibre off the professional stage.

Review by Julie Ward for the Bromsgrove Advertiser

Art & Entertainment: Amateur Theatre

… It is always good to see amateur performers showing total professionalism in handling unexpected moments.

Paul Murdock, in the central role of Billy Crocker in Bromsgrove Operatic Society’s dynamic production of Anything Goes last week, accidentally dropped his pencil into the orchestra on saurday night, while disguised as a sailor taking notes from his shortsighted boss, from whome he is hiding, aboard ship.

Totally unfazed, he shrugged – and threw his notebook after it.

Then, on his next entrance, complaining in accordance with the script that he has nearly been nabbed by his boss, he added, “My notepad and pencil go overboard” – and returned to the script with, “… and everybody’s pointing at me in this stupid disguise.”

He recieved well deserved applause – as he had done a few years ago, after a fall during the tango in Bromsgrove’s Viva Mexico! caused an injury which necessitated his ending the week as comic bad man Pepe with an arm in a sling.Thereafter, he found the opportunity to refer to himself as a one-armed bandit. It’s called thinking on your feet, and some people find it easier to do than others.

Art & Entertainment Column by John Slim for the Birmingham Post

Anything Goes

I liked this production by Roberta Morrell, she always manages to get the best out of the performers and with such experienced people as J. Paul Murdock playing “Billy” and George Brooks as “Moonface”, the show went with a swing all the way through. The girls looked good and sang well as did Malcolm Dunn as “Evelyn Oakleigh”. The minor principals and chorus gave them good support and with an excellent set and costumes this turned out to be an excellent evening’s entertainment.