From Benidorm to Sheffield for musical star Hugh

Hugh Saches as Moonface Martin in Anything Goes, Crucible
Hugh Saches as Moonface Martin in Anything Goes, Crucible

Actor Hugh Sachs, who is currently playing an American gangster in Anything Goes at the Crucible, is filled with admiration for the song and dance experts in the show.

The actor, who is best known for his role as Gavin in TV comedy Benidorm, is also a seasoned theatre actor, appearing in classical roles.

He readily admits that appearing in a Cole Porter musical is new to him but he loves it.

He said: “It’s a most amazing cast. Three of us have not done a huge number of musicals and we’re constantly in awe of everything the cast do. They tap dance and sing and you just want to join in.”

He added: “We all do a bit. I have a duet with Debbie Kurup that will be fun. Alistair David the choreographer is amazing.”

He says that everyone has been very patient as the non-specialists learn the song and dance routines: “It isn’t always this much fun. It can be really tense.”

In the show, Debbie plays the central character, Reno Sweeney, a nightclub performer and evangelist who is performing on board an ocean liner sailing from the US to Southampton. On board are an eccentric group of passengers including an heiress who is off to marry a British aristocrat and a guy who’s fallen in love with her and stowed away to win her away from him.

Reno and Hugh’s character become involved in trying to get the lovers together.

Hugh said: “I’m playing Moonface Martin, who is an incompetent gangster. He’s public enemy number 13. He loves it. He’s trying to escape the cops so he spends most of the play dressed up as a vicar and people come to confess things to him.”

The show makes fun of how gangsters were big celebrities in 1930s America.

Hugh said: “He has to be frightening enough. He’s like the guy who drives the getaway car but still consorts with people who do terrible things.

“He finds himself on the ship trying to escape the police and then he gains this status. He’s at the top table with the captain. He’s a bit of a joke with his set in New York.

“The reason Daniel Evans asked me to do it is that I’m not normal casting for the role. It’s more interesting if you can get someone to do it who you wouldn’t think of as obvious.

“When I read the script I could see what he means. Moonface is a classic loveable rogue who is also hapless..

“When he’s on this journey it’s like a clean slate and he can reinvent himself. That’s the whole knack of Daniel’s approach. It’s like there are no judgements.”

Hugh is sure that the show will be a big success. “I can’t imagine anyone not having a fantastic time.”

Anything Goes is at the Crucible until Saturday, January 17. Box office: at the theatre, call 0114 249 6000 or go online at