Guys and Dolls at the Savoy Theatre
This revival of the 1950 classic, Guys and Dolls, is everything one could want from a West End musical. It is a spectacle of bright lights, larger-than-life characters, wonderful show tunes and unbelievable dance routines, just like where it all takes place: Broadway.
As Nathan Detroit (David Haig) tries to find funding for his illegal craps game, something his fiancée Adelaide (Sophie Thompson) does not approve of, he ends up making a bet that Sky Masterson (Jamie Parker) cannot woo Sarah Brown (Siubhan Harrison). This is a love story that falls somewhere in the middle of Shakespeare and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
Thompson gives a wonderfully funny performance, as does Haig, who never misses a beat. Parker and Harrison are perfect on stage together. Although this is an especially strong leading cast, the supporting cast is equally talented and never struggle to keep up. In particular, Gavin Spokes and Neil McCaul perform phenomenally as Nicely-Nicely Johnson and Arvide Abernathy, lending their powerful voices to the show.
The most striking aspect of this Guys and Dolls revival is the dancing. The enthralling routines are nothing short of magic and will put many other West End shows to shame. The set design, while not the most complex, is entrancing. As vintage Broadway hangs over the stage, it is easy to get lost in the beautiful 50s style billboards for Pepsi-Cola, TWA airlines, Chevrolet and more.
But it’s not just the advertising that comes from the 50s, but also the writing. Guys and Dolls feels a little outdated these days and staying faithful to the original script without a single nod or wink of irony feels like a blow to feminism. Get past the overbearing tones of casual sexism, though, or appreciate them as a reminder of an outdated past that reflects the progress in recent years, and Guys and Dolls is simply marvellous.
Guys and Dolls is a true West End show that gets feet moving and people bopping along to songs that’ll be stuck in everyone’s head for weeks. This may only a limited run and a tour for now, but there’s clear potential for a much longer stint on the West End.
Guys and Dolls is on at the Savoy Theatre from 11th January until 12th March 2016. Book your tickets here.
Watch the trailer for Guys and Dolls here: