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Guys And Dolls

Published 15 April 2016

What’s it all about?

It’s about the most perfectly joyous musical ever written. Comedy hoodlums, gangsters with big hearts, salvation in many forms, benchmark-setting songs and lots of love, Guys And Dolls has it all.

Who’s in it?

A trio of Olivier-nominated stars – Jamie Parker, Sophie Thompson and David Haig – have departed the streets of Broadway leaving only original London lead Siubhan Harrison in the central quartet. She was surely unlucky to miss out on an award nod for her staid, frustrated and, when unleashed, luminous Sarah Brown. If only there were a category for Best Drunk Dancing Performed By A Sober Actress she’d walk it. Well, she’d probably stumble it.

In comes Oliver Tompsett, adding an extra layer of smugness to high-rolling gambler Sky Masterson. With that aloof arrogance comes a singing voice so smooth you’d bet he’d spent a lifetime sandpapering it.

The excellent Samantha Spiro plays down the caricature of club dancer Miss Adelaide. Oh, she’s still a barrel of fun, but the consummate Spiro finds the reality of the sadness lurking in a woman who’s been waiting to marry for 14 years and has invented a family in letters to her mother.

What should I look out for?

That drunken dance sequence in Havana. For all of Harrison’s exquisitely clumsy totters and leaps, the ensemble shine, with a show of Latin heat and sultriness.

Another Olivier nominee, Gavin Spokes, bringing the house down with his rendition of Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat. It’s quite possibly the single greatest show tune ever written, and Spokes’ version is a dream.

In a nutshell?

Frank Loesser’s classic musical doesn’t need luck to be a lady; its new cast is an odds-on hit.

What’s being said on Twitter?

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Will I like it?

If I was a betting man, I’d put money on you loving it.

There’s a reason why Guys And Dolls is one of the world’s most loved musicals. Some of the jokes may be a little long in the tooth these days, but Frank Loesser’s songs are timeless – from the illness-inspired intelligence of Adelaide’s Lament and the house-shaking revelry of Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat to the crooning class of My Time Of Day and Luck Be A Lady. Each one’s a classic.

Throw in awards-baiting choreography from Andrew Wright and Carlos Acosta, and an exuberant, joyful cast and you have a show guaranteed to leave you grinning like you’ve just won a hatful of dollars on the roll of a dice. 

Guys And Dolls is booking at the Phoenix Theatre until 30 October. You can book tickets through us here.

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