Friday, 22 January 2016

Theatre 2016: Review Four

Guys and Dolls, Savoy Theatre, London. January 2016.

January and seeing a musical starring Jamie Parker is starting to become a tradition, last year it was Assassins and this year Guys and Dolls. Once more I went in 'blind' so to speak as apart from Sit Down Your Rocking the Boat I didn't know any of the songs and I certainly didn't know the plot. I'd heard that it was about a floating craps game but thought that this meant it had a riverboat setting and not that the gambling roamed around New York.

I think that this is the way to go sometimes as it is a good test for a musical's book - at no point in this show did I feel lost, or did I forget who was who.  The two love stories are very sweet and, despite being writ large for the stage, very believable and the plot as a whole pretty coherent. All of the cast were on top form the night we saw this and they had so much energy - impressive for the coldest night of the winter so far!

The cast were all British but speaking and singing with American accents and I don't think that I noticed once this falter, although I'm not sure they all came from New York!  I thought I was going to find Miss Adelaide annoying as her accent was so over the top but this was needed for the role and she quickly won me over and I was totally on her side, and ready to do battle with Nathan on her behalf.

I think that what impressed me about this was the parity in the roles, a musical about illegal gambling could so easily have been one sided and just had the female roles as an after thought but in this production Miss Sarah and Miss Adelaide were so strong that it was definitely a four-hander. That being said there wasn't a weak link in the cast, either those with speaking roles or the dancers.

The Savoy Theatre is a beautiful theatre and we had excellent seats in the Stalls and although I primarily went to see this because it is one of Rebecca's favourites (and yes because of the male lead) I am so glad that I did go, I came out with a big smile which hasn't gone yet.

The production is coming to Norwich on tour later in the year and I may go again then, although I think that it will have had a major cast change, but something that has left me this happy deserves a second viewing. I will also look out the stories by Damon Runyon that the show is based on.

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