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Cast announced for UK’s first all-black Guys and Dolls

Ray Fearon. Credit: Alex Brenner
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Ray Fearon will appear in the UK’s first all-black cast production of Guys and Dolls at Manchester’s Royal Exchange.

The co-production with Talawa Theatre Company will also feature Ashley Zhangazha, Abiona Omonua and Lucy Vandi.

Guys and Dolls runs from December 2 to January 27, 2018, with press night on December 6.

The cast also includes Koko Basigara, Toyan Thomas-Browne, Nathanael Campbell, Darren Charles, Ewen Cummins, Chelsey Emery, Evonnee Bentley-Holder, and Kurt Kansley.

They are joined by Danielle Kassarate, Fela Lufadeju, Melanie Marshall, Ako Mitchell, Javar Parker, Joe Speare, Jaime Tait, Trevor A Toussaint and T’shan Williams.

Guys and Dolls has music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swearling and Abe Burrows.

It is directed by Michael Buffong, and has been developed with hip-hop dancer and choreographer Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy.

Buffong said: “Pre-war Harlem was all about the hustle. The creativity of that era was born from a unique collision of talent and circumstance as people escaped the agricultural and oppressive south via the ‘underground railroad’ into the highly urbanised and industrialised north.

“Much of our popular culture, from dance to music, has its roots in that period. Our Guys and Dolls brings all of this to the fore, in superb, celebratory style.”