Guys and Dolls

Bury St Edmunds Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society’s Guys and Dolls,
Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
Until 13 May

All life is here in depression-era New York – drunkards, prostitutes and the righteous Salvation Army and police officers trying to keep order in chases reminiscent of the Keystone Cops.

When Nathan Detroit bets Sky Masterson $1,000 that he cannot woo Salvation Army Sister Sarah Brown to Havana, he definitely has a challenge on his hands and soon gets a reprimand from her when he oversteps the mark.

I was struck by the beautiful vocal abilities of both leading ladies.  First in Sarah’s (Katie Woodhouse’s) duet with Sky and then the real treat was in the penultimate scene as both sing the decisive, “Marry The Man Today.”

Sky lures Sarah away where her hilarious exposure to a “milkshake” containing Bacardi leads her to enjoy the trip far more than he does, dragging him around the sights and tripping the light fantastic.  The atmosphere changes on their return, however and there is some doubt over the success of their future together.

Miss Adelaide’s (Rachelle Curtis’) woes become apparent when she suggests marriage to Nathan who slinks away from the idea despite a 14 year engagement.  Both leading ladies end the show on a positive note which gives a feel good factor to the production.

Heather Couch’s choreography excels in places, most notably in the brave “Take Back Your Mink” chorus line and inventive “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ The Boat” which involves the ensemble weaving around chairs and using the entire stage.  We were treated to an encore of this second number with the audience hand clapping along at the end of the evening.  Sky (Will Cahill) and Nathan (Liam Corbett) were going to have their legs waxed after the performance for charity and we were also invited to donate to Cancer Research as we left for home.

This is a very good production of a classic 1950’s show rendered with enthusiasm and enjoyment by the actors. 

An amusing, entertaining evening, greatly appreciated by the near sell-out audience.

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