REVIEW: Guys and Dolls, Theatre Royal, Newcastle, April 2
Take a gamble on Guys and Dolls and you're sure to have a good night out.
The wise-cracking musical is packed to the rafters with toe-tapping hits.
Nathan Detriot (Maxwell Caulfield) is trying to fund his travelling dice game while keeping it a secret from his fiancée of 14 years, Miss Adelaide (Louise Dearman).
In a bid to win his up-front cash, he bets high-roller Sky Masterson (Richard Fleeshman) that he can't get a date with the religious Sarah Brown (Anna O'Byrne).
The musical, first staged in 1950, features famous hits like Luck Be A Lady, A Bushel and a Peck, and Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat, which had everyone bopping and singing along.
Fleeshman was fantastic in the leading role. He was dashing and charming - it wasn't hard to see why Sarah would fall for him.
The show was at its best during the musical numbers while some of the dialogue in between came across a little corny. It's understandable with it being an older show, but it was brought up to date with fun acrobatic choreography which saw ensembles members do flips and tricks across the stage.
The staging was bright and colourful, but at times the lighting was a bit overzealous. Fleeshman's rendition of Luck Be A Lady, during an underground craps game, was fantastic and the choreography was brilliant, but it was almost drowned out by the over-the-top production which covered cast members in hundreds of moving squares of light.
The ending seemed a little incomplete as well. I don't want to give anything away to those who don't know the story, but the big resolution between two of the characters appeared to happen off stage, with the audience left to imagine how they came to their happy ending.
Jack Edwards really stood out as Nicely-Nicely Johnson. He was a big character and stole the show with his performance of Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat.
Dearman's renditions of Adelaide's Lament were brilliant and O'Byrne shone during If I Were a Bell, hitting some sky-high notes.
While it might have been a little old-fashioned, overall the show was a lot of fun.
Guys and Dolls runs at the Theatre Royal until Saturday, April 2. Click here to book tickets.