Megan Mullally and Robert Lindsay headline Anything Goes in London

Kathleen Marshall is to “re-imagine” her Tony-winning production of Cole Porter and PG Wodehouse’s classic musical Anything Goes at London’s Barbican Theatre in 2021

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Last Updated on 20 November 2020 by Showcall Editorial Team

Anything Goes Barbican

Megan Mullally, star of Broadway and TV comedy Will and Grace, is to join Robert Lindsay in classic Cole Porter musical Anything Goes in London in 2021.

It will run at the Barbican Theatre from 8 May to 22 August, featuring a full supporting company including 14 tap-dancing sailors.

Described as a “re-imagining”, it will be directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall whose 2011 Broadway production of Anything Goes was nominated for nine Tony Awards and won the awards for Best Musical Revival and Best Choreography.

As nightclub singer Reno Sweeney, Mullally will be making her debut in a West End musical. As well as playing Karen in long-running TV comedy Will and Grace, she has starred in shows on Broadway including Grease, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.

She said: “Anything really does go, is the thing, and I’m excited to be coming to London where Robert Lindsay and I will promptly unleash ourselves upon that wonderful town for 15 weeks of farce and frolic.

“Under the tutelage of the devilishly clever Kathleen Marshall we shall endeavour to do the memory of Cole Porter proud. Meanwhile, I will endeavour to get my ass to a tap class.

“A brand new rendering of a great old entertainment is on the horizon. Something tells me I’ll get a kick out of spending my summer in London next year. Tally-ho!”

Lindsay, who has won Bafta and Olivier awards during his extensive screen and stage career, will play second-rate gangster Moonface Martin.

He said: “I am so looking forward to returning to the stage in the medium I love – musical comedy. And what better than Kathleen Marshall’s revival of Anything Goes at the wonderful Barbican Theatre. The perfect remedy to shake off the blues of 2020.”

The musical features classic Cole Porter songs including “I Get A Kick Out of You”, “You’re the Top”, “Blow, Gabriel, Blow”, “It’s De-Lovely”, “Friendship” and the title song, “Anything Goes”.

First staged in 1934, the original book is by novelist PG Wodehouse, Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse and, in this production, features a more recent book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman.

Marshall said: “I’m so thrilled to have the opportunity to reimagine Anything Goes for the West End. I’m a huge fan of both Megan and Robert and I know we will have a blast working together on this iconic musical comedy. I adore London and can’t wait to bring this joyous show to UK audiences.“

Anything Goes is being presented by Howard Panter for Trafalgar Theatre Productions and Eilene Davidson Productions.

Panter, whose other extensive producer credits include The King and I at the London Palladium, said: “I’m delighted to be working with Kathleen to bring a wonderful new production of this classic, and very funny, golden-age musical to London next summer packed with Cole Porter’s fabulous songs.

“It’s an enormous pleasure to welcome Megan to London, as she makes her musical debut in the UK and to work once again with Robert.

“Originally created by the geniuses that were Cole Porter and PG Wodehouse, Anything Goes offers pure escapism and enjoyment for all the family and I really hope it will be the perfect tonic for London audiences next year.“

The creative team includes set designer Derek McLane, lighting designer Neil Austin, sound designer Simon Baker and musical supervisor Stephen Ridley.

Further casting is still to be announced.

Anything Goes is set onboard the SS American. When it heads out to sea, 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 old-fashioned blackmail.

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Mark Ludmon
About Mark Ludmon 42 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre as well as hospitality and drinks after starting out on regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He has also been on the judging panel for the Olivier Awards. He can be found tweeting as @MarkLudmon and writing about theatre at https://markludmon.com.