CREAGH/CARR REVIEW: Guys and Dolls, MK Theatre

Guys and Dolls
Guys and Dolls

The Creagh/Carr Review is back to review Guys and Dolls, the broadway classic from 1950 that is now showing at MK Theatre.

CREAGH SAYS .... There’s something for everyone in this sparkling revival of one of Broadway’s all time musical greats – fabulous songs, sensational choreography, two intertwining love stories that twang both heart and humour and a cast of characters that is almost cartoon-like in its range of gangsters and gals.

There’s sexy but sad Miss Adelaide (Louise Dearman), a nightclub singer and dancer who’s pining to marry craps organiser Nathan Detroit (Maxwell Caulfield). But after a 14-year engagement she’s not only suffering from psychosomatic colds and flu but is also beginning to think the love of her life is a lowdown liar.

Then there’s Sister Sarah (Anna O’Byrne) of the Salvation Army on a mission to save souls on the mean streets of Manhattan and how she falls for the smooth-talking charm of gambler Sky Masterson (Richard Fleeshman).

Jack Edwards makes a suitably chubby Nicely-Nicely Johnson (with a fine voice that improved in the second half) while Cameron Johnson as Big Jule manages to be both menacing and a pussy cat.

There are pit-falls aplenty along the way but it all ends happily ever after with an exhuberant finale that had the first night audience roaring for more.

It’s full of show-stopping tunes like Luck be a Lady and Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat. And the dance numbers really dazzle, thanks to choreography by world-renowned Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta.

It’s based on two short stories by Damon Runyan and sizzles with real showbiz style.

Now that’s entertainment!

CARR SAYS .... Broadway magic is brought to Milton Keynes in this age-old classic.

That’s right, Guys And Dolls is an endearing hark back to the golden age of Hollywood that promises to bring a smile.

And what’s not to like? Anyone with a penchant for vintage glamour will love the strings of white bulbs, iconic advertising (think Coca-Cola ads) and of course 1940’s clothing that gives this show an instant flair.

The plot follows wise guys Sky and Nathan (Richard Fleeshman and Maxwell Caulfield) and their respective dolls, pretty young missionary Sarah (Anna O’Byrne) and Nathan’s long-suffering fiancee Miss Adelaide (Louise Dearman).

In a series of fateful twists, bad boy Sky falls for missionary Sarah, and Nathan has to win his fiancee back before she leaves him forever. It’s a camp and colourful romantic comedy that manages to be fun without every getting too plot-leaden.

With a live orchestra and bombastic singing, perhaps the most dazzling aspect of the show is the dance choreography.

A particularly memorable scene depicts a wild ruckus in a bar in Havana, with a myriad of dancers intertwining with one another.

Fun, sweet and charming – Guys and Dolls plays at MK Theatre until June 18. See here for tickets.