Sheffield Crucible Theatre musical Guys and Dolls is an absolute winner
Election night was a weird night to be reviewing a musical – at least it took your mind off wondering what the result might be – but the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield pulled off a landslide victory with Guys and Dolls.
The show, based on New York petty crooks created by Damon Runyon, involves around a bet between gamblers Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson. Can Sky charm missionary Sarah Brown into a trip to Cuba, or will Nathan win the money to bankroll his illegal gambling ring?
A sub-plot has Nathan dodging the marriage demands of long-suffering fiancee Miss Adelaide.
The four stars were fabulous – Natalie Casey as Miss Adelaide played the comedy for all it was worth, singing and dancing a storm but giving depth and pathos to the vaudeville dancer who just wants to get married.
Her backing dancers also did a terrific job.
Kadiff Kirwan was ice cool as Sky Masterson, slinkily sexy, charismatic and with a great singing voice.
Alex Young, following up her great Crucible performance in Standing at the Sky's Edge, made a fantastic Sarah, convincingly struggling to resist Sky. Her gorgeous voice was used to great effect.
Martin Marquez was a down-to-earth, likeable Nathan – you could believe Adelaide would find him worth waiting for.
Big set piece Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat, was terrific but it had to fight to be a show highlight, such was the standard.
TJ Lloyd, Nathan’s sidekick Nicely Nicely Johnson, did a great job of leading the song and the encore took it to a whole new level.
Garry Robson, as Sarah’s grandfather, also impressed with touching ballad More I Cannot Wish You.
The ensemble did a lovely job in big dance numbers and Rob Hastie’s perfectly-paced direction made everything shine.
The huge band, perched above the action, sounded wonderful but occasionally overwhelmed singers
Designer Janet Bird's clever stage set, with a revolving section, was superbly adaptable.
Guys and Dolls is up there with the best of Crucible musicals – odds on you’ll love it.
The show is at the Crucible until January 18. Box office: 0114 249 6000 or www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk