CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Anything Goes, performed by the Cotswold Savoyards at Cheltenham Everyman

PUBLISHED: 11:36 19 May 2016 | UPDATED: 11:36 19 May 2016

The Cotswold Savoyards in 'Anything Goes' at the Cheltenham Everyman

The Cotswold Savoyards in 'Anything Goes' at the Cheltenham Everyman


If you want to throw the most fantastic party ever, then here’s an idea. Ditch all your family and friends and invite the entire membership of the Cotswold Savoyards instead, says Katie Jarvis

Look, I’m backtracking on the standfirst (that headline, just above), already. Because admittedly, the party idea is a short-term plan, with complications you might have to sort while sporting a daisy of a hangover. But, sometimes, you just have to go with gut instinct.

Because, listen! What a great bunch the Cotswold Savoyards are! Even the stern captain - heavy with responsibility for a transatlantic liner where all passengers, and the crew-of-several, break out into song at difficult moments - was caught in the finale, tapping his toes and belting out You’re The Top with the rest of them.

And what a great musical Anything Goes really is. If this were Shakespeare, it would be As You Like It; a magical setting, where problems disappear like water evaporating from the ocean. The right couples fall in love (eventually). Even feisty Reno correctly has the hot knickers (an in-joke; if you don’t understand it, that’s your fault for not going) for Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, despite his sexual repression and his extreme thickness. And she does this without even asking for his bank-account details! (Though the title and the first-class liner ticket are possible clues.)

Anything Goes reminds you of the good old days. Of the days when you could exaggeratedly imitate a Chinese accent without fear or favour. (Not even the Duke of Edinburgh does that!) (At least, not that we know of.) (Not in public.)

Of the days when songs were beautifully constructed and lyrics were playfully, poetically, pithy.

Of the days when third-class passengers weren’t allowed to gamble. (Really? Ha! Always good when moral standards are in inverse proportions to fare paid.)

So let’s set the scene. We’re on a transatlantic liner, bound from New York to Southampton (I assume), with a complicated set of passengers. Billy (Gary Lines) has just been sacked by Elisha J Whitney (David Roberts), though this is a frequent occurrence. Billy should leave the ship, as it sets sail on a journey long enough to cover some 3,000 miles and a dozen-or-so musical numbers. But he stays on board on discovering that the love of his life, Hope Harcourt (Rachel Prudden) is sailing with her fiancé Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Samuel J Taunton), who has a girl’s name.

Feisty Reno Sweeney (Hannah Boydell) also has her eye on Lord Evelyn, for reasons that clearly don’t involve wanting to do crosswords with a life-partner. There’s Hope’s mother, Mrs Evangeline Harcourt (Lesley Hendrie), with Lola the Shih Tzu (yes, a real dog – so adorable – belonging to director Sue Bennett, who added other adorable touches, too.) And then there were the crooks, Bonnie (Aimée Sullivan), and Moonface Martin (Paul Chesworth) whose deep disappointment at his low-ranking as Public Enemy #13 provides the sole element of tragedy.

And let’s not forget Reno’s gorgeous backing troupe of ‘angels’, along with the game chorus.

The emphasis of this production is fun. It was a first night – not everything went swimmingly, but no one fell into the briny. The singing had you toe-tapping (fab band, conducted by David Manifold), and the dancing (choreographed by Lisa Crowhurst) had you miming.

It’s hopeless trying to pick anyone out, but Hannah Boydell was sheer class; Aimée Sullivan was just fantastic. And I’ll eat my hat if Samuel J Taunton isn’t genuinely at least an earl; and Paul Chesworth a dealer on Cheltenham’s black markets, who carries out the occasional hit (but only for cash).

Great stuff, all.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

What started as a business ploy by one Cotswold firm has developed into an inspirational garden

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

If a bit of English eccentricity is your thing, spend an enjoyable afternoon exploring the delightful follies of Faringdon

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

Visitors to the village of Bourton-on-the-Water can now escape the well-trodden tourist trail at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s beautiful Greystones nature reserve and its newly opened visitor centre

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search