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Guys and Dolls

“Bursting with energy and invention”

There is always a danger of Damon Runyon’s characters being given too soft a focus when played out against Frank Loesser’s glorious score for Guys and Dolls.

Not so in Joseph Pitcher’s third annual Christmas musical at the Mill at Sonning. Last year the director/choreographer knocked it out of the park with a meticulously pared down production of My Fair Lady; this year Pitcher raises the bar with another inventive boutique staging of a Broadway classic.

There may be a reduced cast but the company is impeccable, slipping seamless from character roles to ensemble work with practised ease. Stephane Anelli’s excellent Nathan Detroit is a wiry, wily con, living on his nerves in search of the next crap game. It makes perfect sense that he has trouble committing to matrimony with Natalie Hope’s eternally optimistic Adelaide.

Another revelation is Victoria Serra’s distinctly frosty, Sarah Brown, melting spectacularly in the heat of Havana under the watchful eye of Richard Carson’s beguiling Sky Masterson. Serra brings so much more to Sarah’s journey than the good girl falling for the wrong guy.

Diego Pitarch’s composite set hints toward the Skid Row end of Broadway, where the brightest colours on the sidewalk are Natalie Titchener’s Salvation Army uniforms and the brightest light is the twinkle in Nathan Detroit’s eye.

The real colour however comes from Pitcher, who has slightly tweaked the tone of this classic, exposing the darker elements of the story but also bringing balance for a modern audience.

Throughout the magic remains intact, most notably in Pitcher’s dynamic choreography and Charlie Ingles’ fresh, uplifting arrangements.

Guys and Dolls review at Royal Albert Hall – ‘concert staging of a classic musical’

Production Details
Production nameGuys and Dolls
VenueThe Mill at Sonning
StartsNovember 23, 2018
EndsDecember 23, 2018
Running time2hrs 30mins
ComposerFrank Loesser
Book writerAbe Burrows, Jo Swerling
LyricistFrank Loesser
DirectorJoseph Pitcher
Musical directorCharlie Ingles
ChoreographerJoseph Pitcher
Set designerDiego Pitarch
Costume designerNatalie Titchener
Lighting designerMatthew Biss
Sound designerDomenico Menghini
CastJeremy Rose, Natalie Hope, Oliver Jacobson, Richard Carson, Stephane Anelli, Victoria Serra
Production managerJon Farnese
Stage managerJames Neal
ProducerMill at Sonning
VerdictRambunctious boutique production of a Broadway classic bursting with energy and invention
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Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Paul Vale

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