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Review: Guys and Dolls, Theatre Royal Norwich

Guys and Dolls
Guys and Dolls

Now this is a proper musical with a decent budget and straight here from the West End.

Everything about it is big scale, from the sheer volume of cast members, to the live orchestra, fab costumes and zany set.

Guys and Dolls
Guys and Dolls

And there’s actually a plot, with fairly well-rounded characters, which isn’t always the case with musicals. Set in 1950’s New York, there’s card sharp Nathan Detroit (Maxwell Caulfield, who we know well here in Norfolk) who is always on the lookout for ways to make cash, and his long suffering girlfriend, nightclub “singer” Adelaide (Lucy Jane Adcock), who just wants to get married. Add in a second couple, high-rolling gambler Sky Masterson (Richard Fleeshman, with a beautiful voice), and missionary Sarah Brown (Anna O’Byrne) and you’ve got a show that twists and turns its way to a happy ending.

The 1950 stage version, and the 1955 film with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando, ensure that the show is a popular one, although it doesn’t have as many memorable songs as you might think. There is Adelaide’s Lament (“A girl could develop a cold”), Luck Be A Lady and Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat although not Ever Loving Adelaide (written for the film for Sinatra).

But boy, is there a lot of dancing! Perhaps this isn’t surprising as legendary Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta is one of the choreographers and it looks like he gets everything and a bit more from the cast! One of the best scenes indeed is set in a Cuban nightclub with Sarah being seduced by the moon, the music and the Bacardi!

It’s thoroughly engaging and at not much shy of three hours, is a good value night out. More please!

The show continues until Saturday. Visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

Sarah Hardy

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