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  • Writer's pictureAmrat

Guys and Dolls Musical Review

A musical that has been revived numerous times both on Broadway and on the West End, including a 1955 film adaptation, needs no introduction, but I had yet to experience this amazing show... until now. It was a such pleasure to be invited to review Guys and Dolls at the Bridge Theatre in London this week, and I was completely captivated by the show.


The cast of Guys and Dolls on stage at The Bridge Theatre, with crowds of audience members surrounding a raised stage.
Guys & Dolls Cast Photo | Credit Manuel Harlan

There is no doubt that the venue is a perfect match for this new, immersive musical experience and lends itself well to it, given the seating format. I never expected such a unique and modern take on this musical at this venue, which I believe has hosted some recent immersive productions. Rather than having stalls, the audience is standing around the stage that rises and falls as the show progresses. The audience is ushered around the stage as it moves up and down from one section to another. It looked so much fun and as if you were very much part of the show and I regret not choosing a standing ticket. Having said that, even seated, one felt immersed in the environment. What a joy to witness!


Upon entering the theatre to take my seat, many of the background actors were already in character and mingling and interacting as if we were in the New York underworld of the 1920s, which was extremely believable given the set design and lighting (Paule Constable) and sound. Arlene Phillips' choreography was effortlessly conveyed, and reminded me of the choreography in West Side Story's most recent adaptation.


Two actors on stage in the Guys and Dolls musical, with the male actor showing his back taking to the female actor who looks as though she is questioning him.
L-R Owain Arthur and Timmika Ramsay | Photo Credit Manuel Harlan

The cast members are seasoned professionals and it was great to see such diversity. However, Timmika Ramsay's performance as Miss Adelaide was outstanding. Not only was she on beat with every step, but her vocal range and agility is outstanding as well. The talented Timmika Ramsay commands attention on stage every time she appears - she is talent personified. During the performance, Owain Arthur (as Nathan Detroit) and Timmika Ramsay shared great chemistry and were so natural on stage together. Owain's accent and energy on stage was on point and very New York. George Ioannides (Sky Masterson) and Celinde Schoenmaker (Sarah Brown) didn't have the same chemistry for me, but Celinde's voice is just so powerful and she held back in my opinion. George Ioannides' voice has a lovely tone and he naturally embodies the role.


Two actors on stage in the Guys and Dolls musical, male and female, both seated and staring into each others eyes intensely.
L-R George Ioannides and Celinde Schoenmaker | Photo Credit Manuel Harlan

I would highly recommend that you visit The Bridge Theatre to see this wonderful musical. There's no doubt I'll return, but this time I intend to stand so I can experience the full immersiveness. If you’re able to stand for a few hours, the floor is where you need to be. An excellent performance all around from a strong cast. Bravo!


Venue

The Bridge Theatre

3 Potters Fields Park

London, SE1 2SG Dates

03 March 2023 - 31 August 2024


Performance schedule

Monday – Saturday: 7.30pm

Thursday & Saturday: 2.30pm


Upcoming Access Performances

Audio Described: Saturday 4 May, 2.30pm

Captioned: Friday 17 May 2023, 7.30pm

Find out more - Access facilities

Website


Running time: 2 hrs 50 mins, incl. 15 min interval

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