Set amongst gamblers, gangsters and night-club dancers, Guys and Dolls entertains the audience with some of Broadway’s greatest show-stopping tunes and a love story where all bets are off the table.
The story follows Nathan Detroit (Colin Richardson) as he desperately tries to find a place for his illegal crap game, but is hindered by a tri-factor of obstacles: the police, his lack of money to pay a venue, and Adelaide, his fiancée of 14 years who wants him to go legit and marry her at long last. In need of $1,000, Nathan bets the wealthy Sky Masterson (Alex Kantor) that Sky cannot succeed in taking virtuous Sarah Brown, from the Save-A-Soul Mission, on a date to Havana – a bet Nathan cannot lose… Or so he thinks.
The Edinburgh Music Theatre’s production of Guys and Dolls brings 1950s New York to life with impressive performances and a simple yet effective set depicting shop fronts and neon signs of a Manhattan side street. The lead four have great chemistry with one another, sweeping us along in their love stories or the hustle and bustle of the gambling fraternity.
Kirsten Adamson shines as Adelaide, frequently gaining laughs as she perfectly embodies the stereotype of the ‘Hot Box’ dancer with a heart of gold. Adamson’s performance of the charming yet sultry song ‘Take Back Your Mink’ is a fantastic opening for Act Two and cements her character as a firm favourite.
The supporting cast is strong and is lead superbly by Tony Jackson and Fraser Shand who play Nathan Detroit’s employees, Nicely-Nicely Johnson and Benny Southstreet, respectively. The two are entertaining throughout the show, displaying amusing dance moves and comical quips, and you’ll be smiling away during their superb performance of the titular song ‘Guys and Dolls’.
In general, the professionalism of the set, costumes and performances make it difficult to tell that EMT’s Guys and Dolls is, in fact, an amateur production. There are a few giveaways here and there, such as some of the ensemble dance numbers, where a miss-step or the occasional out-of-sync move expose the fact that they are not full-time West-End dancers. Similarly, there was a small number of lighting mistakes where the stars were left singing on in the shadows instead of being lit up by spotlight. However, these slipups were minor and should not distract from the impressive effort of the EMT that convincingly works to a professional standard.
For a night of fun, care-free escapism and laughter, Edinburgh Music Theatre’s Guys and Dolls is a winning bet!
Review by Kim Ford for Love Books Group
| Booking Information |
Wed 2 to Sat 5 May 2018 | King’s Theatre
Evenings 7.30pm Matinee Sat 2.30pm