GUYS AND DOLLS
book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows music and lyrics by Frank Loesser.
Chichester Festival Theatre Oaklands Park PO19 6AP To 21 September 2014.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat & 4, 10, 18 Sept 2.30pm, 21 Sept 3pm.
Audio-described 5 Sept, 6 Sept 2.30pm, 19 Sept, 20 Sept 2.30pm.
BSL Signed 10 Sept 7.30pm.
Captioned 13 Sept 2.30pm.30pm
Runs 2hr 50min One interval.
TICKETS: 01243 781312.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 23 August.
Guys, Dolls – anyone will rejoice at this.
This is a perfect fit for Chichester’s Festival Theatre. After a single moment of dark a mysterious figure snaps a command and the lights and music of Broadway erupt. A descendant of the dark figure commissioning a Requiem at the end of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus?
That was the Festival Theatre’s previous show, but this could hardly be more different. There’s a lot of evading the law, but nothing malicious, unlike Shaffer’s 18th-century Austrian court. In this world, or rather this slice of New York, all that matters is shooting crap. Things are above board even when the action goes underground in search of a safe place for a game.
The love turns out true too, as game-fixer Nathan Detroit eventually comes round to marrying his long-suffering show-girl girlfriend Miss Adelaide, and, with the emphasis shifting from comedy to emotional truth, as Salvation Army missionary Sarah Brown discovers ace gambler Sky Masterson has spoiled his run of luck, losing a bet to protect her reputation.
After the run-around from their men, Adelaide and Sarah notably have the final song here, and show they intend to have the final word too.
Gordon Greenberg’s revival never becomes overblown, but never seems thin on the ground either. Adelaide’s Laments, the soaring love song of Sarah and Sky, or the ensemble ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat’ (and what a musical which turns up both that and ‘Luck Be A Lady’ in its final half-hour) fit perfectly in their various ways.
Greenberg’s cast work splendidly, including Harry Morrison’s blithe Nicely-Nicely Johnson, who sets that Boat rocking and the whole joint jumping. And Peter Polycarpou as good old reliable Nathan, for whom gambling is the purpose of life, until Sophie Thompson’s Adelaide, a steel skeleton within the softness of her nature, finally corners him.
Clare Foster’s Sarah and Jamie Parker as Sky provide the heart in Broadway, while there are finely-handled details, as when Neil McCaul’s Arvide shows there’s as much army as salvation to him in a stern aside to Sky. The whole dancing, singing, acting crew do justice to this happiest of happy musicals.
Nicely-Nicely Johnson: Harry Morrison.
Benny Southstreet: Ian Hughes.
Rusty Charlie: Carl Sanderson.
Sarah Brown: Clare Foster.
Arvide Abernathy: Neil McCaul.
Agatha: Stephanie Bron.
Calvin: John Brannoch.
Harry the Horse: Nick Wilton.
Lieutenant Brannigan/Joey Biltmore.: Mark Heenehan.
Nathan Detroit: Peter Polycarpou.
Angie the Ox: Michael Peters.
Miss Adelaide: Sophie Thompson.
Sky Masterson: Jamie Parker.
Mimi: Lucinda Lawrence.
General Matilda B Cartwright: Melanie La Barrie.
Big Jule: Nic Greenshields.
Hotbox Waiter: Adam Margilewski.
Havana Diva: Anabel Kutay.
Crap Shooters: Miles Barrow, John Brannoch, Daniel Ioannou, Adam Margilweski, Michael Peters, Matthew Whennell-Clark.
Hotbox Girls: Karen Aspinall, Lucy Banfield, Stephanie Bron, Melissa James, Anabel Kutay, Lucinda Lawrence.
Director: Gordon Greenberg.
Designer: Peter McIntosh.
Lighting: Tim Mitchell.
Sound: Paul Groothuis.
Orchestrator: Larry Blank.
Musical Supervisor/Musical Director/Dance arrangements: Gareth Valentine
Choreographers: Carlos Acosta, Andrew Wright.
Hair/Wigs/Make-up: Campbell Young Associates.
Assistant director: Samuel Wood.
Assistant Musical director: Greg Arrowsmith.
Associate choreographer: Matthew Cole.
Assistant choreographer/Dance Captain: Lucy Banfield.