REVIEW: Taunton Amateur Operatic Society glitters in Cole Porter classic

RENO Sweeney (Beth Cowan) and Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Marcus Palmer). PHOTO: Andy Jones of Shooting Pixels.

RENO Sweeney (Beth Cowan) and Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Marcus Palmer). PHOTO: Andy Jones of Shooting Pixels.

First published in News
Last updated

ANYTHING Goes, that beaming daydream of a show wrapped round the biggest hits Cole Porter could muster, could convert any anti-musical brigade by curtain close.

And with Taunton Amateur Operatic Society at the helm, this week, the effect is irresistible.

Energetic, honey-voiced performers in their finery; the plot hooked on a traditional refrain of boy-meets-girl; the Tacchi-Morris is transformed into the bright ship S.S. America.

Pull it all together, you’ve a must-see production.

Opening night’s full house adored the score. You try not singing along to ‘I Get A Kick Out Of You’, ‘You’re The Top’, or ‘It’s De-Lovely’.

Under the direction of the highly-sought Jeremy Tustin, this was an ambitious, seamless performance from a diamond cast of eclectic characters.

Whether it’s Matt Webber as sweet-faced, love-sick Billy Crocker, or Marcus Palmer as the blustering English Lord desperate to unleash his Gypsy roots; the alcohol-addled buffoonery of Elisha Whitney (Mark Randal) in his peacock suit; the faultless Louise Doolan as seductress Erma; sighing Hope (Meghan Cooper), the focus of Billy’s affections who’s promised to another man… what’s not to love?

There are so many fast-paced plot threads, you could fish with them.

This show will make you laugh, leaving you with a grin on your face and a sure-fire ear worm.

But it is the vision of Beth Cowan as shimmering, shimmying, singing-star, Reno Sweeney – acing the arched brow, unshakeable confidence, and belting voice – that’ll stick with you.

Tickets cost £16/£12 at or 01823-414141. The show runs at 7.30pm nightly until Saturday, with a 2pm matinee on Saturday.


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