Saturday, 6 August 2016

REVIEW: Guys & Dolls at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking

After a hugely successful run at The Savoy theatre, Guys and Dolls transferred to The Phoenix theatre in London, and launched a nationwide tour. Having seen the production at The Savoy with Jamie Parker, Siubhan Harrison, Sophie Thompson and David Haig, I had high expectations of the tour that the cast, the sets, the choreography and all would be just as good as the London show. Featuring a stellar track list including favourites like ‘If I Were A Bell’, ‘Luck Be A Lady’ and ‘Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat’. 

Starring Louise Dearman as Miss Adelaide, Maxwell Caulfield as Nathan Detroit, and Richard Fleeshman as  Sky Masterson, this cast line up was full of potential to make the show an absolute knockout.  Wicked super-alumni Dearman was sensational. She was utterly lovable, wonderfully funny, and oozed charisma as Miss Adelaide. In her character’s desperate attempts to finally wed the love of her life, Nathan Detroit, Adelaide brings some of the funniest moments of the evening, and Dearman executed them with ease. She was undoubtedly the real star of the show. 

Richard Fleeshman rose to fame as Craig in Coronation Street in the early noughties, and melted hearts of teenage girls everywhere, (myself included!). He has grown into a dapper young man, and now 27, commands the stage with professionalism beyond his years. As notorious gambler Sky Masterson, Fleeshman is every inch the suave, smooth-talking ladies-man you’d hope for. His mannerisms were a little over the top at times, but his interpretation was unique and it worked well overall. 

The choreography for this show is outstanding, particularly in the Havana
sequence towards the end of Act I. It’s fast paced, intricate, and sexy; perfection. On the same level, the lighting is a real wow factor in this production adding extraordinary levels of depth to the sets. I really loved that the lights aren’t just a feature in the show, but an element which was integrated with the actors. 

This production is fabulous, but it doesn’t have the same “wow” factor as the West End version, which is a 5 star show. On paper, it’s exactly the same, but the London adaptation just has a greater sense of spectacle about it. Nevertheless, this is a great show, and will leave you humming the tunes for days afterwards.

Review by Harriet Langdown 

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