Felicity Kendal will play the role of Evangeline Harcourt: a haughty and over-bearing mother to ingenue and heiress Hope Harcourt.
Best known for playing Barbara Good in the hit 70s series The Good Life, Kendal’s numerous theatre roles include Hay Fever, Relatively Speaking, A Room With a View and most recently Lettice and Loveage at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Anything Goes will mark her musical stage debut.
Ahead of joining the show, Kendal said: “It’s wonderful to be joining this classic joyous show after the past terrible year of loss and lockdown. We need to connect together again in our theatres and there is nothing quite like the thrill of a live audience experiencing a great show.”
Wilmot, a West End veteran who is currently starring in the world premiere production of The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre, will play Wall Street banker Elisha Whitney. Wilmot’s extensive theatre roles include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy Theatre), Me and My Girl (Adelphi Theatre), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Palladium) and London Palladium pantomimes Dick Whittington, Snow White and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Kendal and Wilmot will join previously announced Megan Mullally and Robert Lindsay in the roles of evangelist turned nightclub singer Reno Sweeney and second rate gangster Moonface Martin.
Further casting for Anything Goes is to be announced, however it has been confirmed the production will feature a cast of 50 including 14 tap dancing sailors.
The production will now begin performances at the Barbican on 5 June 2021 running through to 22 August 2021. The show will then embark on a small UK and Ireland tour which at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Ireland from 26 August playing until 11 September, and then visits The Lowry in Salford (15 to 25 September), Mayflower Southampton (28 September to 2 October) and Edinburgh Playhouse (12 to 17 October).
Cole Porter’s Golden Age musical tells of adventures on the S.S. American, heading from New York to England. Two couples try to find true love, set to a soundtrack including “I Get A Kick Out of You”, “Blow Gabriel Blow” and “You’re The Top”.
Anything Goes is directed by Kathleen Marshal, whose 2011 Broadway production was nominated for 9 Tony Awards winning Best Revival and Choreography. Joining her on the creative team will be set designer Derek McLane, lighting designer Neil Austin, sound designer Simon Baker and musical supervisor Stephen Ridley.
Update: 18 March. Anything Goes will now run from 23 July 2021 until 18 October 2021 in London, followed by a UK tour.
Anything Goes tickets are on sale now.