An Irresistable Classic: GUYS AND DOLLS at the Savoy

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love nothing more than a classic American musical and GUYS AND DOLLS is just that. Full of ├╝ber famous musical theatre hits with a fable story to match, this show is a success every single time it is revived or produced in the English speaking world. But what makes this Chichester Festival Theatre revival so much better than the other productions, and what makes *this* Guys and Dolls a production you should be spending your money on?

Before we go any further, you have to remember that this is a Chichester Festival Theatre production; they did Gypsy last year and Sweeney Todd back in 2012 for example and if you saw either of those productions (or both - like myself), then you'll know their standard when it comes to reviving a solid American musical. They manage to blend together the classic show we know we're going to see and a modern and refreshed feel to every show they produce. It's stellar to see a show that, when usually revived, looks cheap and amateur (in the case of Guys and Dolls) become extravagant and bright with the new set designs and styling by Peter McKintosh. It's a delight to see this show be elevated back onto the stage with such grace and beauty.

I think it's also wonderful to see this show be cast so wonderfully. Jamie Parker makes a delightfully suave and sexy Sky with an outstanding voice to match - his presence on stage oozes swagger which is perfect for the role and it's nice to see a man who I would consider to be an actor-before-singer take on the role so well. David Haig also makes a fantastic Nathan and despite the fact that the Adelaide/Nathan duo seemed much older than the Sky/Sarah duo - which my Grandma and I didn't expect going into the theatre - it worked extremely well. Haig is very funny in the role and helps to make a show that can sometimes feel slow much more relaxing to ease into. His Miss Adelaide - played by Sophie Thompson - is a glittering Jewel in this show's crown. Not only is she absolutely hilarious in her portrayal, but she's a delight to see when she performs. The age difference between her an Siubhan Harrison's Sarah Brown makes 'Marry The Man Today' feel like an epiphany and a life lesson at he same time; it's spectacular. The real star of the show for me though was Siubhan Harrison as Sarah Brown (who I'm delighted to see is going to the Phoenix with the show!). Her performance was top-class and every moment she was on stage, I was smiling; Sarah Brown, to me, is who the audience relates to in this mad story of gambling and relationships, and I really felt like we were in safe hands with Harrison at the helm.

Guys and Dolls at the Savoy is a simply beautiful show to watch, be it the stunning new orchestrations for these amazing songs; the fantastic casting of such an iconic group of characters; or the brand new look and feel for this American classic. An iconic musical fable about compromise and finding true happiness is glistening in the West End again and I couldn't be happier - Guys and Dolls is back in London and is better than ever and in the wake of revivals like Gypsy at the Savoy last year and now this, it instills me with great hope that a golden age of outstanding revivals is back upon us.

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