Lucky were the dolls and indeed the guys, as they sat down to watch this year’s incredible production of Guys and Dolls. The story took us deep into the New York underworld, amongst the gamblers and gangsters, known to us as the crapshooters. Running the show was Nathan Detroit, played by the phenomenal Max L, delivering sparkling comedy alongside his partner Miss Adelaide, the spectacular Ella H. Together they gifted the audience with moments of laughter as, celebrating the 14th anniversary of their engagement, they presented the relatable struggles of a husband and wife. From Adelaide’s sniffling lament to her performances with the wonderful hot box girls, Ella wowed the audience with her incredible vocal and acting abilities.
Above ground Nathan, constantly finding himself in sticky situations, decides to make a bet with the infamous Sky Masterson. Little does he know that Sky never loses a bet! So when Nathan bets Sky that he can’t win over Sarah Brown, an uptight Save-A-Soul missionary, Nathan finds himself in even more trouble. Sure enough the dashing, swashbuckling Sky Masterson, played by Ivan L and Harry A, manages to persuade the stubborn and opinionated India F and Sophie W to go to Havana with him. The pair, never having been in love before, fall deeply for one another and leave us with a sweet aftertaste during the interval following their climactic solos & duets If I Were a Bell, My Time of Day, and I’ve Never Been in Love Before. Both couples brilliantly told the story of first love through their outstanding performances.
The constant battle between the honest and respectable Save-A-Soul Mission and the less virtuous, more mischievous crapshooters kept the audience on their toes throughout. Keane B, Nat O, Alex L and Arthur H provided many comic moments and tremendous singing, not forgetting of course the hysterical one-liners from Jacob W as Big Jule and the rest of the crazy crapshooters. The Crapshooters’ Ballet and Luck Be a Lady were highlights of the evening in terms of dance, song and atmospheric lighting from Mr Chandler. Morgan S was a spirited comic nemesis as Lt Brannigan, whilst Antony L and Jojo W, playing tender-hearted Arvide Abernathy and fearsome General Cartwright, hit the high spot too with their unsuspecting support of the crapshooters and hilarious hallelujahs. So too did the fabulous hot box girls, cavorting zanily in Bushel and a Peck, or instructing us to Take Back Your Mink.
A few weeks later and I’m still singing the magical songs from this incredible production. A credit to not only the cast, but to Dr Morgan-Williams and his wonderful orchestra. From the stunning costumes, to the astonishing set and lighting organised by the incredible production team, everything was perfect. Sue me if I’m wrong, but Mr Smith’s admirable production could easily have been mistaken for a West End show, with every single member of the company full of energy and talent. A spectacular triumph!
Serena B R, Lower Sixth