Let the Savoy Theatre whisk you away from your January blues to old Broadway where the ‘sinners’ come out at night. After a successful run at the Chichester Festival, Guys and Dolls returns to the West End just in time to cheer you up after the excitement of the Yule tide festivities and the back to work blues.
Gambler Nathan Detroit (David Haig) is desperate to find a location for his big craps game (a gambling game played with two dice). He needs $1,000 to pay a garage owner to host the game; he bets Sky Masteron (Jamie Parker) that Sky can’t convince missionary Sarah Brown (Siubhan Harrison) to fly with him to Havana. Sky takes on the bet and makes a deal with Sarah to convince her to go with him. Meanwhile, Nathan faces more pressure from his long-term – 14 years to be precise – fiancée, Adelaide (Sophie Thompson) who wants him to cut the craps and finally marry her.
The book, by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows is incredibly witty and high up in the ranks of its Broadway generation. The music and lyrics by Frank Loesser are simply one hit after another; A Bushel and a Peck, Luck Be a Lady and Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat, to name a few.
Adelaide’s Lament is a funny song driven by Adelaide’s character brilliantly. The showgirl sings about her frustrations with her long-term engagement after reading that this may be the source of her on-going cold. It was fantastic to see an iconic song such as Lucky Be a Lady performed so marvellously by Jamie Parker.
The absolute highlight of the show is when Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Gavin Spokes) sings Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat; it’s a highly energetic showstopper performance and involves the entire cast. There’s no doubt that everyone involved in the show from producers and choreographers to the cast are aware of what a big hit this song is as they deservedly milk every clap and cheer from the audience.
Choreographers Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright do a sensational job with the choreography in this show. Havana is hot as the whole scene is told through dance. The dancers sizzle on the stage bringing the Havana heat to the audience. An instrumental version of Luck Be a Lady manages to trump the actual song with an incredible routine performed by the men in the cast.
The cast of gamble-loving guys and dolls provide contestant entertainment and hilarity in this fast-paced musical. The excellent David Haig is a good natured man – perhaps too much so considering the predicaments he manages to get into. Adelaide is an entertaining showgirl both at her job as a performer at the Hot Box club but she doesn’t change much off stage and it seems like there could be more to her character than we can see. Sky Masterson is your typical leading man that you can’t help but fall in love with, especially with Jamie Parker’s take on the character. Siubhan Harrison does a great job of playing Sarah as a stick in the mud missionary and a free spirited (slightly drunk) party girl in Havana.
Guys and Dolls is the perfect remedy to your January blues.
Guys and Dolls plays the Savoy Theatre until 12 March 2016. For more information and tickets, see ATG Tickets website.