MusicalReviewSouth West

Guys and Dolls – Lyric, Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writers: Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
Music and Lyrics: Frank Loesser
Director: Gordon Greenberg
Choreographer: Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright
Reviewer: Marina Spark

The latest large-scale touring production of the 1950s classic Broadway musicalGuys and Dollsis in Plymouth this week bringing swing and jazz to the Theatre Royal’s Lyric stage. The much-loved show has stood the test of time and this revival certainly does not come up short. Set in 1950s New York, the fanciful plot brings together two sets of lovers in a tangle of miscommunication, chemistry and self-discovery.

The music and lyrics by Frank Loesser distinguishGuys and Dollsfrom other musicals of its era. The instantly recognisable score, coupled with the timeless lyrics, fill the auditorium. When married with Abe Burrows’ book the triumvirate create a match made in heaven.

This production, directed by Gordon Greenberg, breathes a new life into the time-honoured show with dynamic and innovative choices made throughout. Greenberg has a clear vision for the production and a tight, enlivened show is the result.

The set, designed by Peter McKintosh, was sharp and uncluttered. The various scene changes were carried out by the cast and production team without fuss; a testament to the well thought out design by McKintosh. The costumes were also designed by McKintosh and were suitably suave.

Richard Fleeshman led the cast as the dashing but dastardly Sky Masterson. It can be assumed that the gambling man left many a heart-broken in the show and it is safe to say that Fleeshman’s portrayal left many an audience member swooning in the aisles. Fleeshman’s confident and effortless vocals coupled with his debonair characterisation pioneer the action.

Nathan Detroit, the down on his luck crapshoot bookie, is played by Maxwell Cauldfield. Cauldfield plays Nathan with exasperation at his bad luck along with well-judged levels of misguided optimism. Always supporting her man, Miss Adelaide appears to wait forever for him to settle down and marry her. Ruthie Stephens gives Adelaide a softer side at times while also maintaining the tough-skinned New York doll persona.

The high-quality cast brings boundless energy to the production, which makes for addictive viewing. This show is sure to please musical buffs and those new to the genre alike. This production ofGuys and Dollscan boast a first class ticket to Broadway history with recognisable tunes performed by high calibre performers.

Runs until: 4 June 2016 then touring | Image: Contributed

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