Emma brings a wealth of experience to iconic role in Anything Goes!

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 March 2019

Emma Bateman, who plays Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes. Picture: Sidmouth Musical Theatre Company

Emma Bateman, who plays Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes. Picture: Sidmouth Musical Theatre Company

Sidmouth Musical Theatre Company

She plays evangelist turned-nightclub singer Reno Sweeney in the production by Sidmouth Musical Theatre

When Ethel Merman played the role of Reno Sweeney in Cole Porter’s show Anything Goes, which opened in 1934, she created a role that has become as iconic as Broadway itself.

Reno is an evangelist turned gutsy nightclub singer, a persona that inspired the song Blow, Gabriel, Blow. She also gets to sing the show’s title song, Anything Goes. Since then many a chanteuse has aspired to play the role.

Sidmouth Musical Theatre will present Anything Goes this Easter, when the part of Reno will be played by Emma Bateman.

Emma admits to having ballet lessons when she was five years old but they didn’t last long!

Her love for musical theatre began at the age of six when her father brought home a cast recording of Five Guys Named Moe.

With her brother, they would act out all the songs in their living room and she has been hooked ever since. Her first show was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat but she has lost count of the shows she has performed in since. Before coming to Sidmouth, she performed with Exmouth Musical Theatre Company.

When asked if she had a favourite musical, her reply was that different musicals held different memories for her but that currently, when not learning her songs from Anything Goes, she was listening to Stephen Sondheim’s Company.

However, the role that gave her a big thrill was Alex in The Witches of Eastwick.

She says it was a challenging part and she got to fly!

It is clear that music is in her genes.

Emma’s father has been known to tread the boards, her brother works in radio and Emma herself studied musical theatre at The London College of Music for her degree.

She says that theatre provides a form of escapism that you can not only experience as an actor but also enjoy as a member of the audience.

Her ambition is to teach drama and musical theatre and like many performers, she loves the camaraderie and personal fulfilment that performing gives, and hopes to be able to imbue that excitement in others.

Anything Goes is at The Manor Pavilion Theatre from Saturday, April 20 – Saturday, April 27, and tickets can be obtained from the theatre box office.

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