Portsmouth High School’s ‘Anything Goes’ displayed an array of elaborate gowns and voiced a range of beautiful harmonies last week.
With the ocean liner SS America bound for London from New York, a convoluted tale of lovers, gangsters, and bankers emerged with a generous helping of good old fashioned wit. The entirely cosmopolitan feel was complemented by the complex yet glamorous thirties American accent, or a comic Queen’s English, which brought delight to every audience.
The musical, originally written by Cole Porter, was directed by Mrs Lauren Farnhill and musically conducted by Mr George Tinsley and Mr Jan Guthrie. From the dimming of the lights to the standing ovation, it was fearless. Playfully risky but never explicit, the show was unafraid to satirise and exploit.
Sophie Stevens, 18, took to the stage as the glamorous lead Reno Sweeney, an evangelist turned night club singer and wowed crowds with her outstanding performance.
‘Sophie would not have looked out of place on a West End stage,’ said one audience member.
‘Her voice and acting skills were remarkable and her gorgeous back-up dancers, The Angels, epitomized the glamour of the era.’
The girls of Portsmouth High School pushed the limits of the phrase ‘anything goes’ asking if they can have woman play sultry, seductive feminine roles, why not also have them playing the outrageously flirtatious, powerful and witty roles of men. The show challenged convention, and this large group of women demonstrated that gender doesn’t determine the power you can have on stage.
Reaching every note from glass shattering sopranos to the rumbling growl of a baritone, this high energy, all female cast not only broke the mould, but promptly tap danced right over it.
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With thanks to the Sixth Form Creative Writing Group