The best of Anything for Harpenden Light Operatic Society

PUBLISHED: 10:49 02 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:02 06 May 2010

ALTHOUGH the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes has an extremely weak plot it is packed with some of the best known musical numbers ever written. And members of the Harpenden Light Operatic Society completely revelled in its complexities of love and decep

ALTHOUGH the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes has an extremely weak plot it is packed with some of the best known musical numbers ever written.

And members of the Harpenden Light Operatic Society completely revelled in its complexities of love and deception when their current production opened at Harpenden Public Halls on Monday.

Once more the society has attracted top quality singers to fill the lead parts, none more so than Helen Harris as the nightclub singer Reno Sweeny and Isobel Bates as Hope Harcourt.

Both of them have excellent voices and both gave flawless performances on the opening night.

In his first major role with the society, Peter Town as the lovelorn Billy Crocker also gave a first-class performance. From the acting point of view he filled the bill perfectly but, although his voice is good, he had some problems reaching the higher notes, something I am sure will be cured with training.

Sam Gaines, who first appeared with the society at the age of three, produced the best laughs of the evening with a first-class portrayal of the bumbling Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, but he was closely matched by Charlie Fletcher as the gangster Moonface Martin and Katharine Knight as Erma his moll.

Many other members of the society gave fine cameo performances, none more so than Robert Naylor Stables as the tycoon Elisha Martin and John Horley and Mike Smith as the captain and purser of the SS American together with John Hope and Carl Robinson as Luke and John, the unlikely Chinese converts to Christianity.

They were all supported by first-class dancers and singers in the chorus as well as a very good, but completely unseen orchestra led by musical director Clive Ogden.

Director Lucy O'Hare did a tremendous job to bring great vitality to the show. Even though Harpenden Public Halls has the disadvantage of a very small stage she never seemed to over-pack it with people and the whole presentation was crisp and exciting throughout.

JOHN MANNING

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