Anyone Can Whistle at the Union Theatre – new gallery of images

  • Picture: Roy Tan

Details of the full cast and creative team have been revealed for a rare revival of Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurent’s musical satire Anyone Can Whistle and Musical Theatre Review’s official photographer Roy Tan has taken a whole new gallery of production images.

The show will feature in the Phil Willmott Company’s new season at the Union Theatre (8 February to 11 March, with press nights on 11 and 12 February).

Anyone Can Whistle is political allegory in musical comedy form that tells the story of a town that’s gone bankrupt because its only industry is manufacturing something that never wears out.

In order to revive her town Mayoress Cora Hoover Hooper and her town council fake a miracle – water flowing from a rock – to attract tourists. When patients at the local mental hospital escape and mix with the townspeople and tourists, chaos ensues while J. Bowden Hapgood, a fake psychiatrist falls in love with Fay Apple, a nurse at the asylum who has disguised herself as a miracle verifier sent from Lourdes.

The show contains a raft of classic Sondheim numbers including ‘Me and My Town’, ‘Anyone Can Whistle’, ‘There Won’t be Trumpets’, ‘Everybody Says Don’t’ and ‘With So Little to Be Sure Of’.

Felicity Duncan plays the unscrupulous mayoress. Her major musical theatre roles include Liza Minnelli in Bill Kenwright’s tour of the new Richard Harris comedy Liza, Liza, Liza, Rosie in the international tour of Mamma Mia! and Anya in Fiddler On the Roof at the London Palladium opposite Topol.

Oliver Stanley plays the quirky psychiatrist Hapgood. He played his first lead role last year as Lord Marlborough in Phil Willmott’s new musical Princess Caraboo at the Finborough Theatre and is a regular soloist with The Musical Theatre Orchestra

Rachel Delooze plays the rebellious psychiatric nurse Fay Apple. She played her first lead role last year as Sonia in the Toyah Willcox musical of Crime and Punishment at the Scoop, a role she will reprise later this year in the forthcoming film.

Playing towns folk and asylum inmates are: James Horne (Schub), Richard Foster King (Detmold), Mark Garfield (Cooley), Christopher Laishley (Magruder) with Alessandro Lubrano, Joe Miller, Michael Larcombe, Abbey Adams, Isabel Wroe Wright, Kate Hurley, Natalie Thorn, Mitchell Laithbury, Joey Warne, Laura Pick, Tom Mussell and Victoria-Louise Currie.

The creative team includes: season director Phil Willmott, production manager Toby Burbidge, costume designer Penn O’Gara, musical director Richard Baker, choreographer Holly Hughes and casting director Adam Braham,

The Phil Willmott Company’s revival will be the first UK production in six years and follows the director’s sell-out, critically-acclaimed Union Theatre production of Sondheim’s Road Show in 2016.

One of Sondheim’s least-performed works – Anyone Can Whistle lasted only nine performances on Broadway in 1964. The original cast featured Angela Lansbury and Lee Remick.


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