A sizzling production of the classic musical Guys and Dolls, based on the New York stories of Damon Runyan, has opened at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, writes Alan Payne.
Directed by Robert Hastie, it has a wonderful band, an atmospheric set, and a talented, energetic cast. Its witty songs, street-wise dialogue and larger-than-life characters create a beguiling and touchingly innocent world of ‘guys and dolls’.
The show hinges on the long-term relationship between Nathan Detroit, a small-time gambler, and Miss Adelaide, a nightclub dancer; and the unlikely romance between Sky Masterson, another gambler, and Sarah Brown, a young sergeant in a Save-a-Soul Mission. When Sky bets on being able to persuade Sarah Brown to travel to Cuba on a date, the conflict between puritanism and pleasure is played out with both irony and passion.
Natalie Casey is extremely droll as the long-suffering Miss Adelaide; and Alex Young captures Sarah Brown’s generous, divided nature. All the characters combine a sense of style with an underlying vulnerability, including Nathan (Martin Marquez), Sky (Kadiff Kirwan), and Nicely Nicely Johnson (T. J. Lloyd).
The songs – If I Were A Bell, Take Back Your Mink, Luck Be A Lady, Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat, and so on – are performed with great gusto and humour.
Guys and Dolls enhances the Crucible’s well-deserved reputation for putting on ambitious and life-affirming musicals. The production is running until Saturday, January 18, 2020.