Saturday, 26 December 2015

'Guys and Dolls' at The Savoy Theatre

I saw this new version of 'Guys and Dolls' at Chichester last year where it first played and it has now come into London at the Savoy before going on tour. It's jut as colourful and fast-paced as I remember it. There have been a few cast changes but it still features Sophie Thompson as Miss Adelaide and Jamie Parker as Sky Masterson, with new additions David Haig as Nathan Detroit and Siubhan Harrison as Sarah Brown.

You now the story of gamblers and nightclub singers in New York crossed with the Salvation Army and a trip to Cuba. Nathan's trying to set up a game and Sky is challenged to taking Sergeant Sarah to Cuba for dinner and he does so on the basis that he will provide twelve guaranteed sinners to Sarah's congregation the following night. It all goes right and then oh so wrong as Miss Adelaide and Nathan break up and Sky and Sarah fall in love. O dear, life is never straight-forward is it? Will it all work out in the end? I can't possibly tell you, you'll have to go and see it for yourself.

Sophie is great fun as the ageing Miss Adelaide who's been engaged to Nathan for a mere 14 years and never seems to move towards marriage. She hates his gambling but she loves him and can't help it. She milked every line at least twice for every laugh and she got the laughs too. David Haig was great as Nathan, very natural and slotted in nicely - they played off each other very well and had great timing. Jamie was good as Sky but I was less convinced by Siubhan as Sarah - I couldn't help but wonder what Julie Covington was like in the role back in the early 80s with the much-lauded revival at the National Theatre. I liked Gavin Spokes as Nicely Nicely, one of Nathan's gamblers who gets the show-stopping moment of 'Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat' towards the end and a great scene it is too. The other big show-stopper is Sky's 'Luck, Be A Lady' in the sewers beneath Manhattan when he wins twelve souls for Sarah at a game of dice and won back his marker.

If you get the chance, go and see this show, either at the Savoy or while it's on tour in 2016, it's well worth it.

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