Five Reasons to See…Guys & Dolls, Bridge Theatre

Emma Clarendon selects her five reasons why you should book tickets to Nicholas Hytner’s production.

(c)Manuel Harlan

It has immersive aspects to it: this is one of the most fun productions of Guys & Dolls that I have seen. I may have been sitting in the seats – but I got a real sense of just how much fun the cast were having interacting with the audience (to say anymore would spoil the entertainment). It really makes it a lively experience for all involved that keeps everyone on their toes and is a very intimate way to experience the show.

It is the first time a musical has been presented at the Bridge Theatre: while the theatre is known for presenting a wide variety of styles of plays, this is the first time the theatre is showcasing a musical and for such long run as well (booking until September). It is an interesting space for a musical and I really hope that they do more in the future. The space itself allows for a more intimate experience for a musical than perhaps you would get in a West End theatre. Its very exciting to see a musical being stage in a theatre that wouldn’t normally do so.

The cast are all wonderful: Guys & Dolls is a musical that is filled with wonderful and big personality characters and so you need a cast that is more than capable of bringing them to life. Thankfully, the cast that has been brought together here are all on top of their game. From Daniel May as Nathan Detroit, Marisha Wallace as Miss Adelaide to Andrew Richardson as Sky and Celinde Schoenmaker as Sarah – there are a number of wonderful moments in which they all interact with each other, making it a real treat to watch. The chemistry between the leading couples is on point and the comedy is really well played out.

As a production it is vibrant and colourful: as a musical, Guys & Dolls is plenty of fun and this is a production that really embraces the fun and energy. I loved Bunny Christie’s designs which although simple to allow for the inclusion of the audience around the stage, still manages to capture the vibrant New York way of life, while Paule Constable’s lighting design really comes into its own particularly during the musical numbers.

The orchestrations of the songs: this musical features some of my all-time favourite songs written for a musical production and it is always a treat to hear them being performed live. Here, I particularly enjoyed the way in which ‘Adelaide’s Lament’ has an added bit of poignancy to it than I have previously heard, a jazzier sounding ‘Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat’ and the ‘Havana’ section was really vibrant. There is certainly plenty for the ears to enjoy!

Guys and Dolls continues to play at the Bridge Theatre until the 2nd September. To book tickets click here.

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