Anyone Can Whistle
1st April to 7th May, 2022
“A political satire about conformity and the ostracisation of those considered ‘other’ in society. Set in a fictional town where the government controls everything, even the miracles, this fast paced and off-the-wall musical is as hilarious as it is subversive.”
Review by Richard Lambert, 4 Stars
The show is bonkers! It’s like watching a children’s TV show that was created by mixing the Teletubbies with Rainbow and Play School and watching through the round window. The adults are dressed in colourful oversized children’s wear that doesn’t fit very well, and the Set is a catwalk with a large stone at the end. The stone has allegedly been leftover from a previous Peer Gynt festival.
Following a tryout period in Philadelphia, Anyone opened at the Majestic Theater on Broadway on April 4, 1964. The show received widely varied reviews (including negative notices from the New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune), and closed after a run of 12 previews and 9 performances.
This production is very relevant now as we acknowledge our differences and question gender norms. It would have been ahead of it’s time in the 60s. But the book lacks clarity to support Sondheim’s incredible music.
Delightful musical numbers and casting keep the show largely buoyant. An energetic cast with dynamic choreography (Lisa Stevens) support the show. Alex Young stops the show every time she comes on stage. She’s incredible, terrific and an absolute joy in her characterisation of Mayoress Cara Hoover Hooper. So much to love about this show!
Sadly though, the production does grind to a halt in the two long and wordy dialogue scenes between Hapgood (Jordan Broatch) and Apple (Chrystine Symone). If these two scenes were cut the show would be excellent, and would make just as much sense, but of course licensing would unlikely allow this so you have to tolerate these drawn-out scenes and hope they speak quickly. The large live Band are way too loud for the cast to project over, even though everyone is mic’d. I sadly missed a lot of the dialogue and some of the lyrics as the sound balance isn’t right.
But having said that, this is a must-see show! You’ll have so much fun and a fantastic time!
Alex Young (She/Her) as Cora Hoover Hooper Chrystine Symone (She/Her) as Nurse Fay Apple Jordan Broatch (They/Them) as J Bowden Hapgood Danny Lane (He/Him) as Comptroller Schub Samuel Clifford (He/Him) as Treasurer Cooley Renan Teodoro (He/Him) as Chief of Police Magrueder Nathan Taylor (happy with any pronouns) as Dr Detmold Kathryn Akin (She/Her) as Mrs Schroeder Marisha Morgan (She/Her) as Baby Joan Teddy Hinde (They/Them) as John Hana Ichijo (She/Her) as June Shane Convery (They/Them) as George Jensen Tudtud (He/Him) as Martin
Director: Matthew Rankcom (They/Them)
Musical Director: Natalie Pound (She/Her)
Choreographer: Lisa Stevens (She/Her)
Orchestrations: Charlie Ingles (He/Him)
Original Orchestrations: Don Walker (He/Him)
Set and Costume Designer: Cory Shipp (She/Her)
Lighting Designer: Alex Musgrave (He/Him)
Assistant Director Alex Conder (He/Him)
Produced by The Grey Area and Liam McIntosh Entertainment
Photo Credit: Danny With a Camera
Anyone Can WhistleBook by Arthur Laurents Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim Directed by Georgie Rankcom Southwark Playhouse 77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD Box office 020 7407 0234 between 10am and 6pm, Monday-Friday In person at the theatre from 10am Monday – Friday, and from 1pm on Saturday online https://www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show-whats-on/anyone–can–whistle1 April – 7 May 2022 Times: Mon-Sat @ 7.30pm Tues and Sat mats @ 3pm Prices: Previews 1 – 4 April – all tickets £16 £27.50 / £22 concessions Social media Twitter @WhistleLDN @swkplay Facebook SouthwarkPlayhouse Instagram swkplay