Guys and Dolls … keeps rocking the boat

When I went: 7 January 2016

Music Owl Hoot rating: 4/5

Location: Savoy Theatre, London

Performers: Jamie Parker (Sky Masterson), Sophie Thompson (Miss Adelaide), Siubhan Harrison (Sarah), David Haig (Nathan), Gavin Spokes (Nicely-Nicely Johnson)

Creative team: Frank Loesser (music and lyrics), Joe Swerling and Abe Burrows (book), Damon Runyon (original short stories), Gordon Greenberg (director), Gareth Valentine (musical director), Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright (choreography)

Approximate price: £90

Special points: Upbeat cheekiness

Best bit: Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat

If I could change one thing: Better Sarah


The musical:

Guys and Dolls is a tune-fest, with foot-tappers such as Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat, If I Were A Bell, A Bushel and a Peck and of course Luck be a Lady. It continues to do well with theatre audiences despite premiering on Broadway in 1950. The romance and gambling subplots may be old-fashioned, but it has a timeless charm.

This performance:

Jamie Parker was truly masterful as Sky Masterson, and Sophie Thompson managed to tread the right side of plaintive as Miss Adelaide. Gavin Spokes as Nicely-Nicely Johnson was a highlight, with Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat practically bringing the performance to a standstill because of all the applause. However, unfortunately, Siubhan Harrison was not at her best as Sarah; I’m not sure whether she was having problems with her voice, but the top end of her vocal range was noticeably thin, although her acting was fine.

I really enjoyed this performance overall and it made me keener to see other interpretations of this show.

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