Nicely Nicely Johnson:
Harry The Horse:
General Matilda Cartwright:
Saturday night, Guys and Dolls, the classic musical and that was what we received. As the audience entered the auditorium we were met by the classical red curtain adorned with two hanging signs, more of which featured heavily in the clever and simplistic set design as the curtains opened.
Visual the production was incredible, the lighting enhanced every scene bringing to life the streets New York, as represented by the towering silhouettes. The use of the revolving “Mission” shop front, and moveable brick tabs, along with the Havana Bar and Nathan Detroit’s newspaper stand allowed the audience to enjoy a simplistic and flowing performance. The choreography from Abi Holmes was incredibly complex, but beautifully executed, especially by the “Hotbox girls” throughout and the “Guys” during luck be a lady.
The band, as directed by Joe Church complemented the performers on stage, bringing to life the classic songs we know and love which deserve to be played by a live band. The show is highly demanding both vocally and physically, however every song was energetic and captivating for the audience, vocally accurate even when completing intense dance routines.
The directorial choices of Daisy Mercedes were perfect, bringing brilliant aspects of comedy without deterring from the story. Fin Collinson and Ben Griffiths, as Southstreet and Johnson respectively, were hilarious, slapstick comedy and pinpoint comic timing created a brilliant relationship between them and their stressed boss Nathan Detroit, ably portrayed by Scott Ward. A stand out moment of directorial choice was when Tabi Cox as Sarah and Alan Didymus as Arvide, broke the tension at the end of “More I Cannot Wish You” be subtly clutching each others hands. I could write for hours about the brilliance of other principle characters, Ed Henderson (Sky Masterson) and Leonie Macaslin (Adelaide) perfect as always, Ollie Lamb (Harry the Horse), Davey Evans (Big Jule), Jamie House (Rusty Charlie) and Gary Robson (Brannigan) brilliantly mischievous as the ring leaders of the Crapshooters, however I feel it would be wrong to ignore the ensemble, upon which this production heavily relies.
The Guys and Dolls involved in this piece brought the performance to life with incredible energy and focus. As an audience member your eye was constantly being drawn by the ensemble members due to their beautiful characterisation, and this created the feel of a professional production. At times however, the pace of the piece did seem to drop, a few long pauses in blackouts for example, but this was quickly forgotten as the scene unfolded.
Overall, this was a beautiful portrayal of a musical which holds a special place for many people, a satisfying combination of everything musical theatre should be. Incredibly directed, designed and choreographed, perfect visually and audibly from start to finish. The audience loved it, the perfect treat for a Saturday night. So with nothing left for me to say, in the words of Big Jule “Let’s shoot crap.”
Review written by Patrick Withey